A broad spectrum screening of Schmallenberg virus antibodies in wildlife animals in Germany
To identify native wildlife species possibly susceptible to infection with Schmallenberg virus (SBV), a midge-transmitted orthobunyavirus that predominantly infects domestic ruminants, samples from various free-living ruminants, but also carnivores, small mammals and wild boar were analyzed serologically. Before 2011, no SBV-specific antibodies were detectable in any of the tested species, thereafter, a large proportion of the ruminant population became seropositive, while every sample taken from carnivores or small mammals tested negative. Surprisingly, SBV-specific-antibodies were also present in a large number of blood samples from wild boar during the 2011/2012 and 2012/2013 hunting seasons. Hence, free-ranging artiodactyls may play a role as wildlife host.