2015 Volume 77 Issue 10 Pages 1253-1259
In Japan in 2013, two cattle in the northwestern part of Kagoshima Prefecture developed fever and swallowing difficulty and were suspected of having Ibaraki disease. The epizootic hemorrhagic virus (EHDV) genome was detected from diseased and asymptomatic cattle by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). High neutralization antibody titers to Ibaraki virus (IBAV) ranging from 1:128 to 1:1,024 were observed in the RT-PCR-positive cattle, and the virus was isolated in one of the IBAV-positive farms. A pairwise alignment and phylogenetic analysis based on the major outer coat protein VP2 encoded in segment 2 revealed a close relationship between the isolated viruses and previous IBAV isolates. The phylogeny of VP2 also suggested that an IBAV variant isolated in 1997 was distinct from IBAV and sorted into a heterogeneous serotype, EHDV serotype 7. The findings revealed the reemergence of Ibaraki disease in Japan after a 26-year absence. Interestingly, the co-circulation of EHDV serotype 1 with IBAV was observed in the affected region, suggesting the potential reassortment between two heterogeneous serotypes in the field. Sentinel surveillance in Kagoshima Prefecture indicated that the incursion of IBAV occurred in October 2013 and that its spread was limited within the small area. Inadequate environmental temperatures for vector transmission in late autumn might have limited the virus spread to a wider region. The reemergence of Ibaraki disease showed us the importance of continuous vaccination to prevent economic losses.