In order to evaluate for the first time, the serological prevalence of Schmallenberg virus (SBV) and other Simbu group viruses in Lebanon, sheep originating from 15 Lebanese regions were sampled in September 2016. A total number of 750 serum samples from Awassi sheep were tested by ELISA for viral nucleoprotein antibodies. From the sampled animals, 122 animals were seropositive to SBV/ Simbu group viruses. The seropositive sheep were mainly located in South Lebanon. At herd-level, a seroprevalence of 53.33 % was recorded in the Seven Lebanese governorates. The animal-level seroprevalence was 16.26% and both animal and herd-level seroprevalences were negative in Mount-Lebanon.
Even though some serological evidence showed the presence of some Simbu group viruses in the Middle East, no study was done in Lebanon.
In this study, we report for the first time the prevalence of SBV and other Simbu group viruses in Lebanon.
Key words: SBV, Schmallenberg virus, Simbu group viruses, sheep, Lebanon