& livestock assay data sheet
- Ultrasensitive detection of Akabane virus by reverse transcription
coupled real time PCR
Akabane virus is an
insect-transmitted virus that causes congenital abnormalities of
the central nervous system in ruminants. The virus belongs to
the family Bunyaviridae and is spread by biting midges (Culicoides
spp). There are a number
of different strains of the virus including Tinaroo virus, Sabo
virus and Yaba-7 virus. The various strains of Akabane virus may
differ considerably in their virulence.
Akabane virus has been
detected in many tropical and subtropical areas. Disease due to
Akabane virus has been reported in Australia, Israel, Kenya,
Japan, and Korea; antibodies to it have been found in a number
of countries in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. In
these endemic areas, herbivores are bitten by the vector insect,
become infected at an early age, and develop a long-lasting
immunity by the time of breeding. Fetal congenital abnormalities
are therefore seldom seen. However, under some environmental
conditions such as an extended humid summer, the insect vector
may spread into new areas, and outbreaks of congenital infection
are then seen in those areas.
The disease affects
fetuses of cattle, sheep, and goats. Asymptomatic infection has
been demonstrated serologically in horses, buffalo, and deer
(but not in humans or pigs) in endemic areas. Not all infections
result in congenital abnormalities and the incidence rate is
determined by the time of gestation at which infection occurs
and also by the strain of virus. Infections in cattle during the
last 3 months of pregnancy result in approximately 5–10%
affected calves. Peak incidence is seen when infection occurs in
the third and fourth months of pregnancy; up to 40% of calves of
mothers infected at this stage of pregnancy may be born with
Sheep and goats
infected with this virus do not have the same sequential
manifestation of different abnormalities seen in cattle because
of the shorter period of gestation and the shorter period of
Diagnosis of the
disease is often confirmed by necropsy.
Serology has been used but is not very sensitive.
However, molecular detection by PCR is highly sensitive,
specific and rapid.
Help confirm the disease causing agent
Shorten the time required to confirm a clinical
diagnosis of Akabane virus infection
Help ensure that animal herds and populations are free of
Early prevention of spread of the virus among animals
Minimize human exposure to the virus
Safety monitoring of biological products that derive
Kamata, H., Inai, K.,
Maeda, K., Nishimura, T., Arita, S., Tsuda, T. and Sato, M.
(2009) Encephalomyelitis of cattle caused by Akabane virus in
southern Japan in 2006. J. Comp. Pathol. 140:187-193.
whole blood in EDTA (purple top) or ACD (yellow top) tube, or 0.2 ml fresh
or frozen tissue.
types other than those listed here, please call to confirm
specimen acceptability and shipping instructions.
specimen types, if there will be a delay in shipping, or during
very warm weather, refrigerate specimens until shipped and ship
with a cold pack unless more stringent shipping requirements are
specified. Frozen specimens should be shipped so as to remain
frozen in transit. See
for more information.
2 business days
Qualitative reverse transcription coupled real time PCR