Akabane Virus

Authored by: Norasuthi Bangphoomi , Akiko Uema , Hiroomi Akashi

Manual of Security Sensitive Microbes and Toxins

Print publication date:  April  2014
Online publication date:  April  2014

Print ISBN: 9781466553965
eBook ISBN: 9781466553989
Adobe ISBN:


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Akabane virus (AKAV) causes reproductive and congenital problems in cattle, sheep, and goats, resulting in severe economic losses. The identification of arthropod-borne diseases, such as Akabane disease, was first reported in a case of arthrogryposis and hydranencephaly abnormalities in calves in Australia in 1951–1955. 1 However, viral isolation was not attempted. In 1959, AKAV was first isolated from mosquitoes in Akabane village of the Gunma Prefecture, Japan. This survey collected mosquitoes from animal farms and isolated AKAV JaGAr39 strains from Aedes arbovirus. 2,3 Culicoides brevitarsis is known to be a vector of this virus in Australia 4 and Culicoides oxystoma in Japan. 5 The impact of AKAV was first reported from the outbreak in 1974 in Australia, 1972–1975 in Japan, and 1969–1970 in Israel. 68 Previously, an outbreak in Japan caused more than 42,000 congenital abnormalities, abortions, stillbirths, and premature births in cattle. 7 Furthermore, AKAV has been detected in many tropical and subtropical regions 913 throughout various countries. Vaccination has reduced the prevalence of Akabane disease; however, cases still occur in Japan and Korea. 14,15 Recently, antigenic and pathogenic variants of AKAV have been isolated. 1619 These variants may be the cause of disease continuation in areas in which vaccines are administered. Therefore, to elucidate the etiological agent, characterization of both the epidemiology and pathogenesis is required. Moreover, molecular studies will facilitate novel strategies for control of Akabane disease in the future.

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