University of Liverpool Bluetongue Studies

 

Bluetongue (BT) is a viral disease of ruminants (sheep, cattle) which is transmitted by Culicoides biting midges. The disease is sensitive to climate via the midge lifecycle processes and virus replication rate.

 

Bluetongue (caused by bluetongue virus serotype 8) expanded into northern Europe in 2006 and, for the first time ever, occurred in the UK in 2007. A new vaccine was developed and the outbreak was eventually eradicated. In 2015-17, however, BTV-8 reappeared in France and the UK may once again be at risk.

 

The recent expansion of BT to northern Europe has been linked to climate change, favouring the transmission of the disease by biting midges.

 

The Liverpool University Climate and Infectious Diseases of Animals group (LUCINDA) of the University of Liverpool has been funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) to study the risk of BT in UK farms, under present and future climates.

 

The LUCINDA bluetongue model simulates BT transmission between farms in England and Wales. The size of an outbreak depends on the location into which the disease is introduced, the date of introduction, and the temperature conditions during the course of the outbreak.

 

The links below will take you to some of the outputs of this project.

 

     Click here for Bluetongue simulated in the UK

 

     Click here for UK Maps of Culicoides midge numbers (available soon)

 

     Click here for Bluetongue seasonal forecasts (available soon)

 

     Click here for a list of published papers from this and previous projects