Bluetongue is an infectious, viral, non-contagious disease, caused by the virus of the genus Orbivirus and family Reoviridae, being transmitted by hematophagous vectors of the genus Culicoides to domestic and wild ruminants. The disease mainly affects sheep. The infection is related to the climatic conditions of high temperatures and high humidity, which favor the proliferation of vectors. The disease is characterized by systemic hemorrhagic viral fever, caused by vascular injury as a result of the virus-mediated endothelial injury. The lesions are located in the upper gastrointestinal tract, skin and lungs. The clinical signs presented by the animals are fever, edema of the face, lips, snout and ear; sialorrhea, hyperemic oral mucosa and serous to mucopurulent nasal discharge. The diagnosis is made by laboratory analysis, with isolation of the virus by inocula, embryonated eggs or cell cultures; by identification of the agent; by virus-neutralization or by the detection of specific antibodies. There is no specific treatment. In animals showing clinical signs, prophylactic antibiotic therapy is performed. Vaccination and control of vector mosquitoes are the best methods of disease control.
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