Control • Prevent entry • Reduce exposure • Vaccination • Learn to live with disease Competent vectors - The traditional vector of BTV, C. imicola, is now known to be widely distributed across southern Europe and may be expanding its range northwards - Recent findings have also implicated C. obsoletus and C. pulicaris group midges as probable vectors: - these species are widely distributed throughout Europe as far north as Scandinavia but their ability to transmit BTV is poorly understood - some populations have been identified in the UK. - The recent discovery of potentially novel BT vector species of Culicoides in north-west Europe Contingency plans • Developed with core stakeholder group • Disparate interests • Need to involve all livestock owners • Response must be proportionate Summary of the challenges of BTV • Molecular level – Continual change in genetic sequence in replication vector and host • Re-assortment and genetic drift – 24 serotypes – 24 diseases • Cell level – Avoid host defences • within the cell • extracellularly • Host level – Wide variation in virulence of the virus – Variation in pathogenicity between species and breeds • Vector level – Virus factory which can widely disseminate the disease – Potential for recruitment of new vector species. Future challenges • Vaccine development e.g. VLP subunit vaccines, killed vaccines • Understanding the infection in the midge and host pathogenicity – Develop sophisticated control measures base on manipulation of the vector and virus • Keeping abreast of changes in sequences and emergence of new strains of BTV so as develop and refine diagnostic tests and epidemiological investigations.
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