Bluetongue Disease in Germany
Risk assessment for the re-occurence of Bluetongue disease in Germany
The last outbreak of Bluetongue disease (BT) virus serotype 8 (BTV-8) in Germany was officially confirmed on 17 November 2009. During the years 2010 and 2011, serological and virological monitoring in both domestic and wild ruminants provided no evidence for virus circulation. On theis basis and in accordance with Article 6 (2) with Commission Regulation (EC) No 1266/2007, Germany has been declared as free from BT with effect of 15 February 2012. The same date applies to the declaration of revocation of the BTV-8 restriction zone. Hence, according to Directive 2000/75/EC, vaccination against BTV is forbidden. This risk analysis addresses the following questions:
- What is the risk for Bluetongue disease (all serotypes) re-occurrence in Germany?
- Is the risk of re-occurrence of BTV-8 higher than that of other BTV serotypes?
The release risk for the re-occurrence of BTV comprises of the
- wind spread of live vectors infected with BTV serotypes occurring in Europe,
- introduction of infected vectors by trade or traffic,
- trade with susceptible animals,
- trade with sperm,
- use of live vaccine and
- persistence in the domestic and wildlife populations
The release risk is estimated as low.
In the exposure assessment, the risk is estimated as negligible during winter months, moderate for the summer months with regard to the spread by live vectors, and as low for all remaining potential routes of entry.
|Risk of re-occurrence of BTV in Germany||Risk assessment|
|exposure assessment||Low - medium|
In the Consequence assessment, the risk of re-occurrence of BT is estimated as high, as the proportion of the population that is protected against BTV-8 will decrease to nearly zero in the coming years. There is no protection against other serotypes. Even with a mandatory vaccination against BT, continuous immunization against all serotypes would be required to prevent the spread of the disease upon entry into Germany. Voluntary vaccination cannot efficiently prevent the spread of BT in the case of virus introduction.
The risk of a de novo introduction of BTV-8 is not assessed as higher than the risk of introduction of other serotypes of BTV.