Transmissible Gastroenteritis in Cuba

CUBA - Disease never reported before in Cuba (via OIE).
calendar icon 12 May 2003
clock icon 3 minute read

Emergency report

Translation of information received on 6 May 2003 from Dr Emerio F. Serrano Ramírez, Director General of the Institute of Veterinary Medicine, Ministry of Agriculture, Havana:

Report date: 30 April 2003.

Nature of diagnosis: clinical and laboratory.

Date of initial detection of animal health incident: 16 April 2003.

Estimated date of first infection: February 2003.


Location No. of outbreaks
Pinar del Río province ...
La Havana province ...
La Havana City province ...
Matanzas province ...
Cienfuegos province ...
Villa Clara province ...
Total No. of outbreaks 43

Note: the number of outbreaks includes units where, since February 2003, a clinical picture has been observed similar to that reported in units where the diagnosis was confirmed.

Total number of animals in the outbreaks:

species susceptible cases deaths destroyed slaughtered
sui 81,459 37,765 16,590 ... 6,046

Diagnosis: the presence of gastrointestinal disorders, coinciding with fungal contamination of certain raw materials used in the production of feed, initially pointed to mycotoxin poisoning with vomitoxin. The diagnostic work-up was therefore aimed at confirming this hypothesis. Subsequently, the epidemiological pattern of the disease led to investigations being reorientated towards an infectious cause. All the necessary tests were carried out:

- attempt to reproduce the disease by oral inoculation of breeding sows, weaners and unweaned piglets with intestinal material from affected animals;

- anatomopathological and histopathological examination;

- immunoperoxidase test with monoclonal antibodies to transmissible gastroenteritis virus;

- electron microscopy;

- ELISA(1) on recovered animals;

- virus isolation.

Source of agent / origin of infection: unknown; investigations in progress.

Disease control and surveillance measures:

- Activation of emergency command posts at the national level and at the level of the affected provinces.

- Activation of the Veterinary Technical Advisory Unit at the national level and at the level of the affected provinces.

- Implementation of quarantine measures for the affected farms and territories.

- Total ban on the movements of pigs from the affected provinces.

- Strict control of movements between the affected provinces and from unaffected provinces to affected provinces.

- Setting up of check points and disinfection posts in the affected provinces.

- Ban on sending samples to laboratories, other than submissions authorised by the national diagnostic unit.

- In the affected provinces, the slaughter of healthy animals for public consumption is only authorised in abattoirs specially licensed by the Institute of Veterinary Medicine and entirely under the control of the State Veterinary Service.

- Maximum increase in biosecurity measures in all pig production farms, and stepping up of epidemiological surveillance throughout the country.

(1) ELISA: enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.

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