Welcome to Animal Health, your reference Web for 16 years

We belong to the VISAVET Research Centre from the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM). We work in research and teaching on animal infectious diseases.

  • Queremos agradeceros todo el apoyo y fidelidad que nos habéis dado durante estos 16 años, estrenando nuevo diseño Web compatible con dispositivos móviles. A partir de septiembre habrá nuevas secciones. Os deseamos un feliz verano!
  • Somos Laboratorio de Referencia de la Organización Mundial de la Sanidad Animal (OIE) en Peste Porcina Africana (PPA) y Peste Equina Africana PEA.
  • Realizamos el diagnóstico de los principales virus que afectan a las abejas, siendo pioneros en el desarrollo y puesta a punto de nuevas técnicas para su estudio.
  • La investigación epidemiologica de la Peste Porcina Clásica y Africana (PPC y PPA) son dos de nuestras prioridades.
  • En SUAT trabajamos en la aplicación de la termografía a la sanidad animal, especialmente ventajosa en animales en libertad y de zoo.

Attention students

     You can find the outlines
     in the link below.


ASF continues without control in the Moscow


African Swine Fever

African swine fever continues causing problems in the Tver region, located on the north of the Russian capital, Moscow. The first outbreaks in this region appeared in May 2011, with the involvement of 127 domestic pigs. Successive outbreaks occurred affecting both domestic and wild population of the area (in June, July and November 2011). This fact was identified as a signal of danger evolution of the disease, implying the existence of viral circulation in the area, and therefore an increased risk of dissemination and maintenance of ASF in the area.

These predictions have been recently confirmed with the detection of an infected boar in Lihoslavlsky area during the month of June of this year, revealing that the virus has remaines in the area during these months. This area, located in the Tver region, has not reported outbreaks before, so the alarms have started on the Russian Veterinary Services, to the insufficient knowledge of the extent of the problem. These Services has begun a program to prevent spread and eradication of ASF in the area, including the census of all animals in the region.

On the other hand, unofficial sources have reported the presence of several outbreaks in the Tula region, at the south of the capital. In fact, this area it has been considered by the Federal Veterinary Service (Rosselkhoznadzor) as the current hot spot of the disease in the country. Waiting for official notification to the OIE confirming these outbreaks this fact, the truth is that the spread and persistence of the disease in this region, where the pig population is much higher than many regions in the country, could mean significant economic losses, and further complications for the control of the disease.

The dissemination and persistence of ASF in these two regions is a step in the progressive approach of the disease to the northwest and therefore to the borders of neighboring countries such as Ukraine and Belarus and neighboring countries of the EU.

Peste Porcina Africana Moscú

Fig.: ASF outbreaks from 2007 to 2012 (20 June) with swine density in the world.  
(Source: own elaboration with data from OIE, 2012 and Glipha, 2000).

Sources: African Swine Fever outbreaks continue near Moscow (Pig progress News). Clarification of the ASF Virus in the Tver Region (Rosselkhoznadzor / Press about us) 

Lina Mur Gil & José Manuel Sánchez-Vizcaíno

New emerging diseases sections

Emergind diseases onlineWe release two new sections about emerging diseases: Bluetongue and  African Horse Sickness. Adding to those dedicated to West Nile, the African Swine Fever  and the Schmallenberg virus. Also will be updated periodically.

Countries with AHS free status

Logo 80ª Sesión General de la Asamblea Mundial de Delegados de la OIE African Horse Sickness (AHS) has been included in the list of diseases eligible for Official recognition of disease status by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).At the 80th General Session of the Assembly of OIE Delegates (20-25 May 2012) has approved the inclusion of the AHS in the procedure for the official recognition of disease status. The official recognition by the OIE of the AHS free status of Member Countries is of great importance to international trade, improving transparency in terms of animal health. In addition, this recognition is one of the most important legal links between the OIE and World Trade Organization (WTO).

The procedures for granting or modify the official status of a country are handled in an objective and transparent manner, in accordance with Standard Operating Procedure of the OIE.

More information about the procedures  

Alumudena Sánchez Matamoros & José Manuel Sánchez-Vizcaíno


Section of African Horse Sickness (AHS)

Denmark Outbreak of Schmallenberg disease


Denmark declares the first outbreak of the Schmallenberg disease.

The first season of occurrence of the Schmallenberg disease (SBD) is coming to an end. In fact, on June 1, the eight affected countries declared the resolution of the nearly 3,500 outbreaks suffered from December 2011 to May 2012 in sheep, cattle and goats (Figure 1). 

Primer foco del Virus de Schmallenberg declarado en Dinamarca
Fig. 1: Number of outbreaks of Schmallenberg disease in the eight European countries affected until June 11th, 2012 (Source: self elaboration based on data in WAHID-OIE). In detail, the purple star denotes the first Schmallenberg disease outbreak in cattle in Fyn (Denmark); the blue cross indicates the first seropositive animals in Jutland.


However, on June 6, Denmark declared the first case of SBD on the island of Funen (Figure 1, detail). This case appeared in a cattle holding in Fyn, where a fetus born with compatible malformations appeared, and the virus could be detected by PCR. No symptoms in adult animals were detected in the holding during autumn 2011, but the mother presented  antibodies against the virus.

Although this is the first confirmed case in Denmark, a total of 56 animals have come to study as compatible cases, but only this one has tested positive to the PCR. In addition, a few weeks before antibodies were detected in two cattle from a farm in Jutland (Figure 1, detail). Furthermore, the virus was detected in pools of Culicoides midges (unspecified species) collected in October 2011.

All these evidences suggest that, like the serotype 8 bluetongue virus, the Schmallenberg virus has been circulating over Europe up to quite northern latitudes. Further studies are needed to understand how this pathogen is transmitted.

Source: http://www.flutrackers.com/forum/


Víctor Rodríguez Prieto & José Manuel Sánchez-Vizcaíno


Section of sanidadnimal.info dedicated to Schmallenberg virus (SBV)

Course on Classic & African Swine Fever

Early and Rapid Nuclear and Nuclear-Related Diagnostic and Tracing Technologies for African and Classic Swine Fever

José Manuel Sánchez-Vizcaíno & Lina Mur have participated to the Regional Training Course on "Early and Rapid Nuclear and Nuclear-Related Diagnostic and Tracing Technologies for African and Classic Swine Fever". From 21st to 25th of May of 2012 in Seibersdorf, Austria thar was hosted by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Many countries participated: Albania, Azerbaijan, Bosnia Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Kyrgyzstan, Montenegro, Tajikistan, Republic of Macedonia and Turkey.

National Ovine Forum

From May 22nd to 24th in Aranda del Duero. Victor Rodríguez Prieto from SUAT group talk about "Emerging diseases in ovine: blue tongue  & Schmallenberg virus".

Program of meeting


Current status of the Schmallenberg disease


Emeging diseases online    The infection with the Schmallenberg virus (SBV)continues its spread in Europe. From the description of the first cases of congenital malformations (mainly by the arthrogryposis-hydranencephaly syndrome) in December 2011, more than 3,200 farms have declared outbreaks of SBV infection in eight EU countries: Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, UK, France, Luxembourg, Italy and Spain. However, according to official sources in each country, we know that there are almost 4,000 affected farms in just 6 months (Figure 1).

 Schmallenberg afceted farms

Fig. 1 (click to enlarge): Number of outbreaks of Schmallenberg in the eight EU countries affected to 11 May 2012. Data are shown notifications agencies of each country against the official statements of the OIE.

Of the total number of affected animals, sheep are the most affected (80.1%), followed by cattle (17.2%). Infection in goats seems to have been milder than in the other two species. As for the case of cattle, it is likely that outbreaks continue to appear until June 2012, transmission of the virus by the vectors occurred even until January of this year.

This situation is feasible given the uncommon weather conditions during the fall and winter of 2011, making possible the survival of the vectors until very late months. In turn, we must bear in mind that the drop of outbreaks in cattle may coincide with the start of the second wave of outbreaks, since there will be a sufficient number of vectors to start the transmission. Up to now  we do not know the consequences of this second epidemic wave, but everything indicates that this disease is much milder than other vector-borne diseases, such as bluetongue.


Víctor Rodríguez Prieto & José Manuel Sánchez-Vizcaíno