Bluetongue causes an important economic impact and is listed in the Terrestrial Animal Health Code of the World for Animal Health (OIE, 2017). The identification of Bluetongue virus (BTV) and typing of circulating viruses are essential for the implementation of control measures to limit the disease spread. As semen is considered a source of Bluetongue virus, in this present study fifty semen samples of bulls obtained from representative farms of Minas Gerais State, Brazil, were screened for Bluetongue virus RNA using real time RT-PCR (quantitative real time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction) targeting genomic segments 10. From these, 18 samples (36%) tested positive. A Seg-2 serotype-specific real-time RT-PCR identified BTV-4, BTV-8, BTV-10 and BTV-16. This finding represents the first detection of BTV-8, BTV10 and BTV-16 in Brazil and, additionally, the first detection of BTV genomes in semen from bulls in the Country. RNA from multiple BTV-serotypes was detected in two individual semen samples suggesting co-infection. The detection of BTV RNA in semen samples demonstrate the importance of appropriate surveillance and testing of semen to reduce risks of BTV transmission and the trade embargoes.
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