Brucellosis Outbreak in Upper Austria Affects Dairy Cattle Herd

AUSTRIA - Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Ulrich Herzog has reported an outbreak of brucellosis to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) at a dairy farm located in Upper Austria (Oberösterreich).
calendar icon 31 July 2018
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An immediate notification was sent to the OIE on Monday (30 July) wherein it was stated that the presence of the causal agent brucella melitensis was initially observed on 21 June and confirmed four days later (25 June) after antibody detection ELISA and real-time PCR tests were carried out at the Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety, both tests confirming the presence of the virus.

On 21 June, a total of 102 bovines from a dairy cattle herd were found to have shown signs of susceptibility, out of which 74 cases were identified. However, no deaths as a result of the brucella melitensis strain were reported.

As a precautionary measure, the OIE - in conjunction with the Austrian veterinary authorities - killed amd disposed of a total of 73 animals, while the remaining 29 were slaughtered. 

While the source of the outbreak remains inconclusive, several control measures have been applied to prevent further spread of the disease. The measures are:

  • Movement control inside the country
  • Surveillance outside containment and/or protection zone
  • Surveillance within containment and/or protection zone
  • Screening
  • Traceability
  • Official destruction of animal products
  • Official disposal of carcasses, by-products and waste
  • Selective killing and disposal
  • Disinfection
  • Slaughter
  • Ante- and post-mortem inspections

The 74 affected animals have not and are not to receive any form of treatment and vaccination has also been prohibited.

Apart from the control measures mentioned above, no other measures have been applied as of now, and will not be applied unless further threats of more outbreaks are detected.

Map of outbreak locations [Image: source OIE]

Further Reading

Find out more information on Brucellosis by clicking here.

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