Presence of Bluetongue Virus Antibodies in Cattle and Sheep in Ogun and Osun States, Nigeria

Main Article Content

Oluwayelu Donald Oladimeji
Anosike Ignatius Kelechi


Bluetongue is an infectious, arthropod-borne viral disease principally affecting ruminants. The occurrence of bluetongue virus (BTV) antibodies in sheep and cattle from backyard farms, cattle markets and abattoirs in Ogun and Osun states of Nigeria was investigated. Three hundred and forty (340) plasma samples comprising 205 from sheep and 135 from cattle were collected from March to September 2017, noting the sex, breed and age of the animals. The samples were screened with a commercial enzyme-linked immunosurbent assay (ELISA) kit that detects BTV antibodies in ruminant plasma or serum. All cattle tested from both states were positive for BTV antibodies giving a seroprevalence of 100% while 95% seroprevalence was obtained for sheep. In Ogun state, prevalence of 90.5% and 98% were obtained for male and female sheep respectively while 95.6% and 95% prevalence were also obtained for male and female sheep respectively in Osun state. Based on breed, 94%, 95%, 95% and 96% prevalence were obtained for Yankasa, Balami, Ouda and West African Dwarf (WAD) sheep respectively in Ogun state while 93%, 95.5%, 100% and 93% prevalence were obtained for Yankasa, Balami, Ouda and WAD sheep respectively in Osun state. Furthermore, prevalence of 92% and 96.7% were obtained for age groups of ≤ 1 year and > 1 year respectively in Ogun state, while prevalence of 96% and 94.7% were obtained for age groups of ≤ 1 year and > 1 year respectively in Osun state. Since vaccination against bluetongue disease is not practiced in Nigeria, the detection of high prevalence of BTV antibodies observed in apparently healthy animals in this study indicates natural, albeit subclinical, infection with the virus and sustained activity of the Culicoides vector. These findings suggest that bluetongue is widespread in southwestern part of Nigeria and highlight the need for continuous surveillance of the disease in the country as well as isolation, identification and characterisation of currently circulating BTV strains in Nigeria.

Bluetongue virus, presence, cattle, sheep, Ogun state, Osun state.

Article Details

How to Cite
Oladimeji, O., & Kelechi, A. (2019). Presence of Bluetongue Virus Antibodies in Cattle and Sheep in Ogun and Osun States, Nigeria. International Journal of TROPICAL DISEASE & Health, 38(3), 1-10.
Original Research Article


Center for Food Security and Public Health at Iowa State University (CFSPH). Bluetongue: Sore muzzle, pseudo foot-and-mouth disease, muzzle disease, malarial catarrhal fever, epizootic catarrh, Beksiekte. Institute for International Cooporation in Animal Biologics, College of Veterinary Medicine, Iowa State University; 2015.

Roy P. Functional mapping of bluetongue virus proteins and their interactions with host proteins during virus replication. Cell Biochemistry and Biophysics. 2008;50(3): 143-57.

Bjorn-Patrick Mohl, Polly Roy. Bluetongue virus capsid assembly and maturation. 2014;6(8):3250–3270.

PMCID: PMC4147694.
(Published Online Aug 21 2014)

Roy P. Bluetongue virus structure and assembly. 2017;24:115-123.

PMID: 28609677.
DOI: 10.1016/j.coviro

MacLachlan NJ, Guthrie AJ. Re-emergence of bluetongue, African horse sickness, and other Orbivirus diseases. Veterinary Research. 2010;41(6):35.
(Published Online 2010 January 27)
DOI: 10.1051/vetres/2010007

Maan S, Maan NS, Nomikou K, Veronesi E, Bachanet – Bankowska K, Belaganahali MN, Attoui H, Mertens PP. Complete genome characterization of a novel 26th bluetongue virus serotype from Kuwait. PLoS one. 2011;6(10):e26147.

Mellor PS, Boorman J. The transmission and geographical spread of African horse sickness and bluetongue viruses. Annual Tropical Medical Parasitology. 1995;89:1-15.

Mellor PS, Boorman J, Baylis M. Culicoides biting midges: Their role as arbovirus vectors. Annual Review of Entomology. 2000;45:307–340.

Purse BV, Mellor PS, Rogers DJ, Samuel AR, Mertens PC, Baylis M. Climate change and the recent emergence of bluetongue in Europe. National Review of Microbiology. 2005;3:171–181.

MacLachlan NJ. Bluetongue and epizootic haemorrhagic disease. In: US Animal Health Association, Committee on Foreign Animal Disease. Foreign Animal Diseases: the Gray Book. Ed 7. Part III, Chap 7. Richmond, V.A.: US Animal Health Association. 2008;159–66.

USAHA (US Animal Health Association). Committee on Bluetongue and Bovine Retrovirus. Committee Report; 2002.

McKercher DG, McGowan B, Howarth JA, Saito JK. A preliminary report on the isolation and identification of the bluetongue virus from sheep in California. Journal of American Veterinary Medical Association. 1953;122:300–301.

Singer RS, MacLachlan NJ, Carpenter TE. Maximal predicted duration of viraemia in bluetongue virus infected cattle. Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation. 2001;13:43-9.

Murphy FA, Gibbs EP, Horsinek MC, Studdert MC. Reoviridae. In: Veterinary Virology. Ed 3. San Diego, C. A: Academic Press; 1999.

Office International Des Epizooties/World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). Press release. Bluetongue detected for the first time in Northern Europe.
(Accessed 22 November 2006)

Aeillo S, Ed. Bluetongue disease. In: Merck Veterinary Manual. Ed 8. Merck & Co., Inc. Whitehouse Station, N.J., USA; 1998.

Verwoerd DW, Erasmus BJ. Bluetongue. In: Coetzer JAW, Tstin RC, (Eds.). Infectious diseases of livestock, 2nd Ed., Oxford University Press Southern Africa, Cape Town. 2004;1201–1220.

Schwartz – Cornill I, Mertens PP, Contreras V, Hemati B, Pascale F, Breard E, Mellor PS, MacLachlan NJ, Zientara S. Bluetongue virus: Virology, pathogenesis and immunity. Veterinary Research. 2008;39:46.

MacLachlan NJ, Drew CP, Darpel KE, Worwa G. The pathology and pathogenesis of bluetongue. Journal of Companion Pathology. 2009;141:1-16.

McGrath M. Dancing disease set for long run; 2008.

Taylor WP. The epidemiology of bluetongue. OIE Science and Technology Reviewed. 1986;5:351–356.

Bida SA, Njoka CO, Eid FIA. Bluetongue in Wiltshire horn sheep. Veterinary Record. 1975;97:946.

Ekue FN, Nfi AN, Tsangue P, Taylor WP, Gumm ID. Bluetongue in exotic sheep in Cameroon. Tropical Animal Health and Production. 1985;17:187–188.

Sudana IG, Malole M. Annual report on animal diseases investigation in Indonesia during 1976- 1981. Bogor, Java: Balai Penyidikan Penyakit Hewan; 1982.

Mellor PS. Bluetongue. State Veterinary Journal. 1994a;4:7-10.

Chand K, Biswas SK, Pandey AB, Saxena A, Tewari N, Mondal B. A competitive ELISA for detection of group specific antibody to bluetongue virus using anti-core antibody. Biologicals. US National Library of Medicine. National Institute of Health. 2017;46:168-171.

Johannes A. Kramps, Kees van Maanen, Maria H. Mars, Johan K. Popma, Piet A. van Rijn. Validation of a commercial ELISA for the detection of bluetongue virus (BTV)-specific antibodies in individual milk samples of Dutch dairy cows Central Veterinary Institute of Wageningen UR; 2008.

Afshar A, Eaton BT, Wright PF, Pearson JE, Anderson J, Jeggo M, Trotter HC. Competitive ELISA for serodiagnosis of bluetongue: Evaluation of group-specific monoclonal antibodies a`1nd expressed VP7 antigens. Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation. 1992;4:231–237.

Obi TU, Taylor WP, Ojo MO. Prevalence of bluetongue virus precipitating antibodies in sheep and goats in Southern Nigeria. Tropical Veterinarian. 1983;1(4):205–208.

Oluwayelu DO, Olatoye O, Akanbi M, Hoffmann. Ra-emergence of bluetongue virus infection in Oyo state, Nigeria. In: Proceedings of 5th Pan Commonwealth Veterinary Conference, Accra, Ghana. 2011;234-238.

Thrusfield M. Veterinary epidemiology, Second Edition. Blackwell Science Publications, Oxford. 1995;178-198.

Obot NI, Emberga TT, Ishola KS. 22 years characterized trends of rainfall in Abeokuta, Nigeria. Research Journal of Applied Sciences. 2011;6(4):264-271.

Omotoso S, Omotos O, Iree Alalubosa. An Iree Progressive Union Commissioned History, Oshogbo: Nigeria. Signs and Wonders Publishers Ltd.; 1992.

Dipeolu OO, Ogunrinade AF. Studies on Culicoides species of Nigeria. VII. The biology of some Nigerian Culicoides species. Z. Parasitenkd. 1997;51(3):289-290.

Akinboade OA, Hassan JO, Adejinmi. Public health importance of market meat exposed to refuse flies and air-borne microorganisms. International Journal of Zoonosis. 1984;1:111–114.

Taylor WP, McCausland A. Studies with bluetongue virus in Nigeria. Tropical Animal Health Production. 1976;8:167- 173.

Moore DL, Kemp CE. Bluetongue and related viruses in Ibadan, Nigeria. Serologic studies of domesticated and wild animals. American Journal of Veterinary Research. 1974;35:1115-1120.

Milree JM, Walton C, Jerome CP. Prevalence in sheep and goats in northern Nigeria of antibodies to bluetongue (type 7). West African Research Team, Royal Veterinary College. Final Report. 1977;39-44.

Durojaiye O. Agar gel precipitation antibody to bluetongue virus in Nigerian cattle, sheep and goats. Nigerian Veterinary Journal. 1979;8:64-67.

Gibbs EPJ, Greiner EC. Bluetongue and epizootic haemorrhagic disease. In the Arboviruses: Epidemiology and Ecology. TP Monath (Edited), CRC Press, Boca Raton. 1988;2:39–70.

Cynthia MK. Merck veterinary manual 9th Edition, Merck & Co., Inc. Whitehouse Station, U.S.A.; 2005.

Sperlova A, Zendulkova D. Bluetongue: A review. Veterinarni Medicina. 2011;56(9): 430-452.

Pinto J, Bonacic C, Hamilton-West C, Romero J, Lubroth J. Climate change and animal diseases in South America. Review of Science and Technology. 2008;27:599–613.

Sellers RF, Pedgley DE. Possible windborne spread to Western Turkey of bluetongue virus in 1977 and to Akabane virus in 1979. Journal of Hygiene of Cambridge. 1985;95:149–158.

Gibbs EP, Greiner EC. The epidemiology of bluetongue. Companion of Immunology of Microbial Infectious Diseases. 1994;17: 207–220.

Tomori O. Bluetongue and related viruses in Nigeria: Experimental infection of West African dwarf sheep with Nigeria strains of the viruses of epizootic haemorrhagic disease of deer and bluetongue. Veterinary Microbiology. 1980;5(3):177–185.