Experimental infection of camels with bluetongue virus
Three camels aged 4-5 years were experimentally infected with Bluetongue virus serotype 1 (BTV-1) and were observed for 75 days. No clinical signs of disease were observed throughout the experiment, however all three animals seroconverted and developed BTV-1 specific neutralising antibodies after challenge. All three camels developed a viraemia from 7 days post infection albeit at a lower level than that usually observed in experimental infections of sheep and cattle. Virus was isolated from the blood of all three animals suggesting that camels may act as a reservoir for BTV and play an important role in its transmission.