Schmallenberg virus emerged in 2011 in Europe. The epicentre of primordial spreading was the region straddling Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium. One of the key questions is whether the newcomer would establish a lasting presence on the continent. The apparent seroprevalence in southern Belgium wild deer populations was followed for 6 years. Two years of intense circulation were revealed, 2012 and 2016, characterized by a peak seroprevalence in the two studied populations (Capreolus capreolus and Cervus elaphus). Between the peak years and after 2016, apparent seroprevalences declined rapidly among adults and became nil among juveniles. The general pattern of apparent seroprevalence evolution observed is consistent with a cyclic circulation of Schmallenberg virus, similar to what is observed for other Orthobunyaviruses in endemic areas. These data also suggest that wild cervids play no central role in the circulation dynamics of the virus.
- Schmallenberg virus
- wild cervids