Rabbit haemorrhagic disease,
Canada
Information received on 08/03/2018 from Dr Jaspinder Komal, Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Ottawa, Canada
Summary
Report type Immediate notification
Date of start of the event 13/02/2018
Date of confirmation of the event 07/03/2018
Report date 08/03/2018
Date submitted to OIE 08/03/2018
Date event resolved 11/04/2019
Reason for notification Recurrence of a listed disease
Date of previous occurrence 24/11/2016
Manifestation of disease Clinical disease
Causal agent Rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus
Serotype RHDV2
Nature of diagnosis Laboratory (basic), Laboratory (advanced), Necropsy
This event pertains to the whole country
Related reports Immediate notification (08/03/2018)
Follow-up report No. 1 (21/03/2018)
Follow-up report No. 2 (03/04/2018)
Follow-up report No. 3 (17/04/2018)
Follow-up report No. 4 (10/04/2019)
New outbreaks (1)
Outbreak 1 (BC-2018-001) Nanaimo, British Columbia
Date of start of the outbreak 14/02/2018
Outbreak status Resolved (01/03/2018)
Epidemiological unit Other
Affected animals
Species Susceptible Cases Deaths Killed and disposed of Slaughtered
European Rabbit:Oryctolagus cuniculus(Leporidae) 30 30 0 0
Affected population Large population of feral rabbits on the Vancouver Island University Campus (Nanaimo, British Columbia) grounds. BC-2018-001
Summary of outbreaks Total outbreaks: 1
Total animals affected
Species Susceptible Cases Deaths Killed and disposed of Slaughtered
European Rabbit:Oryctolagus cuniculus(Leporidae) 30 30 0 0
Outbreak statistics
Species Apparent morbidity rate Apparent mortality rate Apparent case fatality rate Proportion susceptible animals lost*
European Rabbit:Oryctolagus cuniculus(Leporidae) ** ** 100.00% **
*Removed from the susceptible population through death, destruction and/or slaughter
**Not calculated because of missing information
Epidemiology
Source of the outbreak(s) or origin of infection
  • Unknown or inconclusive
Epidemiological comments Approximately 30 feral rabbits have died over the last two weeks on the grounds of the Vancouver Island University Campus in Nanaimo, British Columbia. Poisoning was first suspected and samples were submitted to the Animal Health Centre laboratory of the Ministry of Agriculture of British-Columbia. The laboratory reported positive results for rabbit haemorrhagic disease (RHD). Samples were submitted to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease for final confirmation and characterization of the virus. Sanger sequencing of the amplicon from the OIE-prescribed RHDV-specific conventional RT-PCR confirms presence of RHDV genomic material in the samples. Whole genome next generation sequencing of nucleic acid extracted from pooled liver provided a near complete 7.4 kb RHDV genome closely matching (93% identity) the RHDV-2 isolate RHDV-N11 (KM878681.1) from an outbreak in a rabbit farm in Navarra, Spain in 2011. This is the first occurrence of RHD in wild (feral) rabbits in Canada and the first outbreak of that disease in the province of British-Columbia. During the same period and in the same area, approximately 180 rabbits out of a population of 200 have died in a sanctuary of rabbits (mostly outdoor). RHD is highly suspected.
Control measures
Measures applied
  • Vaccination prohibited
  • No treatment of affected animals
Measures to be applied
  • No other measures
Diagnostic test results
Laboratory name and type Species Test Test date Result
Animal Health Centre - Ministry of Agriculture of British-Columbia (Local laboratory) European Rabbit histopathological examination 28/02/2018 Positive
Animal Health Centre - Ministry of Agriculture of British-Columbia (Local laboratory) European Rabbit reverse transcription - polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) 28/02/2018 Positive
National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease (CFIA) (National laboratory) European Rabbit electron microscopy 06/03/2018 Positive
National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease (CFIA) (National laboratory) European Rabbit gene sequencing 07/03/2018 Positive
National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease (CFIA) (National laboratory) European Rabbit in situ hybridisation (ISH) 07/03/2018 Positive
National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease (CFIA) (National laboratory) European Rabbit reverse transcription - polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) 02/03/2018 Positive
National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease (CFIA) (National laboratory) European Rabbit virus isolation Pending
Future Reporting
The event is continuing. Weekly follow-up reports will be submitted.
Map of outbreak locations