Retrospective studies on rabbit haemorrhagic disease outbreaks caused by RHDV GI.2 virus on farms in France from 2013 to 2018


  • Adeline Huneau-Salaün ANSES, Laboratoire de Ploufragan-Plouzané-Niort
  • Samuel Boucher Syndicat National des Groupements Techniques Vétérinaires
  • Julie Fontaine Syndicat National des Groupements Techniques Vétérinaires
  • Bernadette Le Normand Syndicat National des Groupements Techniques Vétérinaires
  • Sébastien Lopez Syndicat National des Groupements Techniques Vétérinaires
  • Thimothée Maurice Syndicat National des Groupements Techniques Vétérinaires
  • Laurence Nouvel Syndicat National des Groupements Techniques Vétérinaires
  • Arthur Bruchec ANSES, Laboratoire de Ploufragan-Plouzané-Niort
  • Jenna Coton ANSES, Laboratoire de Ploufragan-Plouzané-Niort
  • Guillaume Martin ANSES, Laboratoire de Ploufragan-Plouzané-Niort
  • Ghislaine Le Gall-Reculé ANSES, Laboratoire de Ploufragan-Plouzané-Niort
  • Sophie Le Bouquin ANSES, Laboratoire de Ploufragan-Plouzané-Niort



rabbit, haemorrhagic disease, epidemiology, outbreak


Rabbit haemorrhagic disease (RHD) is a critical health threat to the rabbit industry in Europe. In 2018, the French rabbit industry adopted a voluntary control plan against this disease. In this context, two epidemiological studies were conducted on RHD outbreaks that occurred between 2013 and 2018 in France. The objectives were to describe the spread of RHD due to the new genotype RHDV GI.2 (rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus GI.2) and to identify rearing factors influencing the occurrence of the disease in order to guide the prevention measures recommended in the control plan. An analysis of cases on 295 farms between 2013 and 2017 showed that 32% of farms were affected at least once; the incidence of the disease increased in 2016-2017 compared to 2013-2015. Farms already affected in 2013-2015 had a higher risk of being infected in 2016-2017 than those that remained unaffected until 2015 (Relative Risk and 95% Confident Interval 1.7 [1.1-2.7]). A case-control study carried out between 2016 and 2018 on 37 outbreaks and 32 control farms revealed variability in biosecurity and decontamination practices between farms. The risk of being infected tends to be linked to these practices, but certain structural factors (e.g. the manure disposal system, transfer of rabbits at weaning) could also influence the risk of virus introduction into farms. In the context of a limited vaccination coverage of the farms (only females are vaccinated), these hypotheses will be studied further, using information from the RHD outbreak monitoring system implemented at the same time as the control plan in 2018.


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Author Biographies

Samuel Boucher, Syndicat National des Groupements Techniques Vétérinaires

Commission Cunicole

Julie Fontaine, Syndicat National des Groupements Techniques Vétérinaires

Commission Cunicole

Bernadette Le Normand, Syndicat National des Groupements Techniques Vétérinaires

Commission Cunicole

Sébastien Lopez, Syndicat National des Groupements Techniques Vétérinaires

Commission Cunicole

Thimothée Maurice, Syndicat National des Groupements Techniques Vétérinaires

Commission Cunicole

Laurence Nouvel, Syndicat National des Groupements Techniques Vétérinaires

Commission Cunicole


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