Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 496308
Title A spatiotemporal model to assess the introduction risk of African horse sickness by import of animals and vectors in France
Author(s) Faverjon, C.; Leblond, A.; Hendrikx, P.; Balenghien, T.; Vos, C. de; Fischer, E.A.J.; Koeijer, A.A. de
Source BMC Veterinary Research 11 (2015)1. - ISSN 1746-6148
Department(s) PRI BIOS Applied Metabolic Systems
CVI Diagnostics and Crisis
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2015
Keyword(s) African horse sickness - Culicoides - Equine movements - Import risk assessment - Midge - Quantitative risk - Risk of introduction

Background: African horse sickness (AHS) is a major, Culicoides-borne viral disease in equines whose introduction into Europe could have dramatic consequences. The disease is considered to be endemic in sub-Saharan Africa. Recent introductions of other Culicoides-borne viruses (bluetongue and Schmallenberg) into northern Europe have highlighted the risk that AHS may arrive in Europe as well. The aim of our study was to provide a spatiotemporal quantitative risk model of AHS introduction into France. The study focused on two pathways of introduction: the arrival of an infectious host (PW-host) and the arrival of an infectious Culicoides midge via the livestock trade (PW-vector). The risk of introduction was calculated by determining the probability of an infectious animal or vector entering the country and the probability of the virus then becoming established: i.e., the virus's arrival in France resulting in at least one local equine host being infected by one local vector. This risk was assessed using data from three consecutive years (2010 to 2012) for 22 regions in France. Results: The results of the model indicate that the annual risk of AHS being introduced to France is very low but that major spatiotemporal differences exist. For both introduction pathways, risk is higher from July to October and peaks in July. In general, regions with warmer climates are more at risk, as are colder regions with larger equine populations; however, regional variation in animal importation patterns (number and species) also play a major role in determining risk. Despite the low probability that AHSV is present in the EU, intra-EU trade of equines contributes most to the risk of AHSV introduction to France because it involves a large number of horse movements. Conclusion: It is important to address spatiotemporal differences when assessing the risk of ASH introduction and thus also when implementing efficient surveillance efforts. The methods and results of this study may help develop surveillance techniques and other risk reduction measures that will prevent the introduction of AHS or minimize AHS' potential impact once introduced, both in France and the rest of Europe.

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