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

  • Vigiasan: Proyecto de Innovación Empleo de Tecnologías para evaluar el estado de salud, bienestar y productividad en ganado

  • VACDIVA quiere resolver el problema de la Peste Porcina Africana (PPA) en Europa y en los países afectados, desarrollando vacunas seguras y efectivas para cerdos domésticos y jabalíes, tests de diagnóstico y herramientas para estrategias de control y erradicación en Europa
  • Proyecto de Innovación "Empleo de Tecnologías para evaluar el estado de salud, bienestar y productividad en ganado"
  • 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.


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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.

SBV: Trade restrictions

Enforced trade restrictions to countries affected by the Schmallenberg virus


So far, there have been more than 1,800 outbreaks of Schmallenberg disease (SBD) in eight EU countries. However, it is estimated that the number of outbreaks exceed 2,700 at the end of March. Following this increase, seventeen Third Countries have closed their borders to exports of ruminant products from countries affected by the EU (previous communication about restrictions). The list of these countries include the United States, Canada, Mexico, Peru, Argentina, Brazil, Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Ukraine, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Belarus, Kazakhstan, India and Japan (Figure 1). Most of these countries have imposed restrictions on genetic material from ruminants or are demanding the provision of certificates with live animals to ensure they are free of virus. Undoubtedly, the most conservative country is Russia, which has closed its borders to all genetic material and live pigs and ruminants of any EU country since March 20th. The European Commission has opened negotiations with the neighboring country, as it is believed that these measures are excessive and outside scientific evidence. In fact, there is no reported case of SBD in pigs, so it seems obvious that this sector should not be affected by the closure of borders. The Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment (MAGRAMA) works in cooperation with the EU affected countries to minimize the economic impact that these restrictive measures may cause.

Countries that are imposing trade restrictions on products from the EU countries affected by the Schmallenberg disease

Fig. 1. Countries that are imposing trade restrictions on products from the EU countries affected by the Schmallenberg disease

All the information about Schmallenberg Virus  is available at Emerging diseases online

Víctor Rodríguez Prieto & José Manuel Sánchez-Vizcaíno

Schmallenberg in human

Enfermedades emergentes onlineExtremely low risk for human infection with the Schmallenberg virus.

So far there have been no reported cases of infection with Schmallenberg virus (SBV) in humans. Since the start of the outbreaks, many researchers had already suggested that the zoonotic potential of this new virus was low. The reasons to support this idea are based on the similarity of the SBV with Simbu serogroup viruses. Up to date, there has been no human infection by any of the three most homologous viruses (Akabane, Aino and Shamonda). However, it is known that at least two members of this serogroup, Oropouche and Iquitos viruses, do affect humans. In addition, the SBV is proving to have epidemiological, clinical and genetic peculiarities, not previously described. Therefore, the German Robert Koch Institute (RKI) has conducted a survey in 60 sheep and cattle owners in the estate of North Rhine-Westphalia, in order to understand the involvement of humans in the epidemiological cycle. Antibodies have not been found in any of these samples. In addition, samples of some farmers who had nonspecific symptoms (such as fever or headaches) were analyzed by RT-PCR (in case it was a recent infection) yielding negative results.

Although further investigations are needed, these results are quite encouraging. Given that these farmers have been highly exposed to the virus for several weeks (since they come from an area with a very high rate of infected animals) these findings suggest that the risk of human infection with the SBV is extremely low.


All the information about Schmallenberg Virus  is available at Emerging diseases online

Víctor Rodríguez Prieto & José Manuel Sánchez-Vizcaíno

African swine fever - Recognizing the disease in field

Not long ago we warned of the current risk posed by African swine fever (ASF) for the European Union (EU) and that the main measure we must take to prevent entry is to be forewarned and informed. To this end we have prepared the following summary which we hope will clarify some practical concepts about ASF, how to recognize it and what actions to take when in the field.

Lina Mur Gil & José Manuel Sánchez-Vizcaíno write this outreach article for pig333.com.

Link: African swine fever - Recognizing the disease in field pig333.com

First case of the Schmallenberg virus in Spain

Schmallenberg Virus SBV

Spain notifies the first outbreak of Schmallenberg disease.

     The Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment (MAGRAMA) made official on March 13th, 2012 the declaration of the first case of Schmallenberg virus (SBV) infection in Spain. This first outbreak occurred in Cordoba (Andalusia), in the location of Hinojosa del Duque.

On March 5th, 2012 sheep foetus was born with congenital lesions compatible with SBV infection, presenting arthrogryposis, kyphosis, lordosis and cerebellar hypoplasia. The farm where this malformation was found is extensive and mixed, with a census of 644 sheep and 12 goats. According to the epidemiological survey, similar cases in the surroundings have not been detected so far. However, it is noted that this birth occurred at the beginning of the calving season, so special attention must be paid to detect any compatible case.

Samples were taken from the brain and spleen of the malformed lamb and sent to the Central Veterinary Laboratory (LCV) of Algete in order to perform the appropriate diagnostic techniques. Therefore, on March 12th, 2012 this National Reference Laboratory communicated to the national authorities that the samples had tested positive by RT-PCR.

With respect to the affected region, located in the Valley of the Pedroches, we know that since June 2011 it has received 30 movements of cattle and 12 of sheep from the affected European areas, the virus may have been carried in an animal infected with these consignments.

The rapid confirmation of this disease is mainly due to the application since early February 2012 of the National Programme for Epidemiological Surveillance against Schmallenberg Virus. Thanks to the implementation of this plan, sanitary authorities may keep track of new cases that may arise and establishment of early sanitary measures.

Víctor Rodríguez Prieto & José Manuel Sánchez-Vizcaíno

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

News in the media (Spanish texts)
Diario abc: Detectado el primer caso en España del virus de Schmallenberg.
EFEagro: Primer caso del virus "Schmallenberg" en España.
Albeitar: Sánchez Vizcaíno espera nuevos casos del virus Schmallenberg en España.
El diario de Córdoba: El Gobierno recuerda que la enfermedad no afecta a personas.
El diario de Córdoba: Agricultura detecta un caso del virus Schmallenberg en una explotación de Hinojosa.