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Bluetongue in Kazakhstan and Central Asia

#K-2318


Serological monitoring, typing and sequencing of the bluetongue virus in the Republic of Kazakhstan and Central Asia

Tech Area / Field

  • AGR-DIG/Diagnostics/Agriculture
  • AGR-DIS/Disease Surveillance/Agriculture
  • BIO-SFS/Biosafety and BioSecurity/Biotechnology

Status
3 Approved without Funding

Registration date
17.08.2016

Leading Institute
The Republican Government Enterprise on the basic of economic control rights “Research Institute for Biological Safety Problems” , Kazakstan, Gvardeiski

Supporting institutes

  • Institute of Biological Safety Problems, Tajikistan, Dushanbe

Collaborators

  • University of Nebraska, USA, NE, Lincoln

Project summary

The Project aim. Serological monitoring, typing and sequencing of the bluetongue virus in the Republic of Kazakhstan and Central Asia

Current status. Bluetongue is a non-contagious transmissible disease affecting wide specter of ruminants, spread by blood-sucking insects of genus Culicoides and characterized by fever, inflammatory and necrotic lesions of oral cavity (tongue especially), digestive tract, epithelium of whisk and the base of the hoof skin as well as by degenerative changes of skeletal muscles. The disease is a considerable socio-economic problem for the sphere of international traffic in livestock and farm produce. According to the RK Ministry of Agriculture in 2011-2014 over 500000 heads of cattle were imported to Kazakhstan from USA, Czech Republic, Canada, Russia, Ukraine, France, Australia, Ireland, Austria and Germany to realize the program on developing potential of cattle meat export (Zhugunissov KD et al., 2015). In livestock herds the cattle is a reservoir of bluetongue virus. According to OIE import of livestock and farm produce can carry certain risk of introducing a disease or several diseases/infections into the importing country [Terrestrial Animal Health Code, OIE, 2010]. Summarizing the above stated one can conclude that it is necessary to study the causes of the infection spread worldwide and that there is a risk of bluetongue emergence on the territory of Kazakhstan.

Today the situation becomes worse; the disease makes progress and expands its areal in the Asian region. For instance, in the course of studies in Kazakhstan in late 1990s (M. Lundervold et al., 2004) and in Mongolia in 2007-2008 (G.B. Muruyeva, 2011) antibodies to the bluetongue virus were detected in blood sera of ruminants. Also in 2013 antibodies to the bluetongue virus have been detected in Kyrgyz Republic (O. Avci et al., 2014), thus presenting an evidence that a natural focus of infection exists throughout transboundary territories of Kazakhstan.

The main vectors of the agent are midges, mosquitoes and louse flies that transmit both pathogenic and vaccinal viruses. The areal of habitation of mosquitoes and other blood-sucking insects is also rather wide on the territory of Kazakhstan. According to M. Lundervold et al. (2004) the bluetongue virus circulates in Kazakhstan among ruminants and the infection can be of endemic nature here. During the recent 15 years stable seromonitoring of this infection was not conducted in our country though there are publications reporting availability of seropositive animals in the adjacent countries and isolation of the BT virus of various serotypes.

So, taking into account wide spread of the infection in adjacent countries and availability of active vectors occurrence of the disease in Kazakhstan can be a real threat. Thereby implementation of serological monitoring for bluetongue among farm and wild ruminants on the territory of Kazakhstan and Central Asia is of great interest.

The project’ influence on progress in this area. Typing of the bluetongue virus isolated or circulating in Kazakhstan and subsequent study of its nucleotide sequence will enable to decide which serotype of the virus should be used in vaccine development as well as to load nucleotide sequences of genes of novel Asian BT viruses to the GenBank database.

The participants’ expertise. The RIBSP staff members taking part in the project implementation have broad experience of work with this infection since 1970 till present time. The institute where the project work will be carried out possesses skilled personnel, modern buildings and experimental potential for up-to-date research.

Expected results and their application. It is planned that serological monitoring with sampling blood sera from livestock will enable to identify geographical prevalence of bluetongue, veterinary status of susceptible animals on the RK territory. Local strains will be isolated and identified, their typing and molecular and genetic analysis will be conducted.


The Project research is of the category "Applied research". Scientific application of the Project results implies their usage in development of the map reflecting seroprevalence of the bluetongue virus on the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The findings of the Project research will be published in globally recognized international journals.

Meeting the ISTC goals and objectives. Since former “weapons” scientists will take part in this Project implementation and because the Project itself is exceptionally peaceful it perfectly meets the ISTC goals. Also, adherence to these objectives can be attained by planned wide involvement of scientists from participating institutions into international scientific community through providing information on the Project during international conferences and workshops.

Scope of activities. The following activities will be implemented under the Project:


    ü Seromonitoring of bluetongue on the territories of the Republic of Kazakhstan and Central Asia;
    ü Isolation and identification of the bluetongue virus.
    ü Typing of the isolated bluetongue viruses.
    ü Identification of the nucleotide sequence of the genomes of the isolated bluetongue viruses.
      .
Role of Foreign Collaborators/Partners.

The following forms of collaboration are expected:


- Information exchange in the course of the Project implementation;
- Submission of collaborators' comments to technical reports;
- Joint use of some equipment and test materials and specimens;
- Participation of the collaborators in technical monitoring of the Project activity jointly with the ISTC officials.

Technical approach and methodology. Methods of virological, serological and molecular genetics, as well as methods for statistical processing of seromonitoring data will be used in the Project work.


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