Assessment of the productivity effects associated with epizootic hemorrhagic disease in dairy herds

M. Kedmi, M. Van Straten, E. Ezra, N. Galon, E. Klement*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Epizootic hemorrhagic disease is caused by a Culicoides-borne Orbivirus. In cattle, the disease is characterized by reduced milk production and mortality. Recent outbreaks of epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus (EHDV) in North Africa, Israel, and Turkey increase the risk of its invasion into central and northern Europe. An outbreak of EHDV in Israel during the fall of 2006 enabled an assessment of the consequent production losses to the dairy cattle industry. Reduction in milk production and involuntary culling were modeled using a 4-yr database of monthly milk and mortality records from 48 affected and 63 unaffected herds. These indices were compared between periods of outbreak and no outbreak and assessed for various levels and exposure onset. Geospatial kriging interpolation of serological results from 127 herds was used to assess the total outbreak losses for the dairy cattle industry in Israel. Herds affected during the first, second, and third month of the outbreak (September-November) experienced an average loss of 207 (95% CI=154-261), 137 (63-211), and 52 (27-76) kg of milk/milking cow, respectively, during the outbreak period. An average excess mortality and involuntary culling of 1.47/100 cows was documented in herds affected in September. High correlation was observed between EHDV seroprevalence and milk loss; average milk loss for herds with seropositivity of 26 to 50, 51 to 75, and 76 to 100% was 84, 133, and 204. kg of milk/milking cow, respectively. A 1.42% (0.91-1.93%) increase in mortality was observed in herds with seroprevalence above 50%. Losses for the dairy cattle industry interpolated from these data were estimated at US2,491,000 (US1,591,000-3,391,000), an average loss of US26.5/cow in the Israeli dairy cattle. This equals 0.55% of the average total value production of a dairy cow in Israel. This is the first study to estimate the production losses caused by EHDV or any bluetongue-like disease.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)2486-2495
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the US/Israel Binational Agricultural Research and Development Fund ( IS-4105-08 ) and by the Israel Dairy Board Fund (grant number 705-0019-07 ).


  • Bluetongue
  • Economic loss
  • Epizootic hemorrhagic disease
  • Milk loss


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