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Assessing the potential for Bluetongue virus 8 to spread and vaccination strategies in Scotland

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    Rights statement: © The Author(s) 2016 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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Original languageEnglish
Article number38940
JournalScientific Reports
Volume6
Early online date13 Dec 2016
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Dec 2016

Abstract

Europe has seen frequent outbreaks of Bluetongue (BT) disease since 2006, including an outbreak of BT virus serotype 8 in central France during 2015 that has continued to spread in Europe during 2016. Thus, assessing the potential for BTv-8 spread and determining the optimal deployment of vaccination is critical for contingency planning. We developed a spatially explicit mathematical model of BTv-8 spread in Scotland and explored the sensitivity of transmission to key disease spread parameters for which detailed empirical data is lacking. With parameters at mean values, there is little spread of BTv-8 in Scotland. However, under a "worst case" but still feasible scenario with parameters at the limits of their ranges and temperatures 1 °C warmer than the mean, we find extensive spread with 203,000 sheep infected given virus introduction to the south of Scotland between mid-May and mid-June. Strategically targeted vaccine interventions can greatly reduce BT spread. Specifically, despite BT having most clinical impact in sheep, we show that vaccination can have the greatest impact on reducing BTv infections in sheep when administered to cattle, which has implications for disease control policy.

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