Potential strategies for control of bluetongue, a globally emerging,Culicoides-transmitted viral disease of ruminant livestock and wildlife

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Abstract

Bluetongue (BT) is a non-zoonotic arboviral disease of certain wild and domestic species of cloven-hoofed ungulates. The causative agent, bluetongue virus (BTV), is spread through temperate and tropical regions of the world by biting Culicoides midges. Control of BTV infection is complicated by the plurality of virus serotypes and the ubiquity and opportunistic feeding behavior of its midge vector. The global distribution of BTV infection has recently altered, perhaps driven in part by climatic influences on midge species resident in different regions. The goal of this review is to evaluate realistic strategies that might be utilized to control or prevent future outbreaks of BT and other Culicoides-transmitted diseases. Importantly, optimal control of emerging, rapidly evolving arbovirus diseases such as BT will require integrated countermeasures that mitigate all aspects of the virus’s transmission cycle. This will best be accomplished using preventative, rather than purely reactive strategies.

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