Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Early-warning system defends rare Jersey cows from disease spreading through Europe

Date:
January 6, 2010
Source:
Wiley-Blackwell
Summary:
Scientists from the Channel Islands are working on an early-warning system to help defend cattle against "bluetongue" disease, which can be carried from France by the wind.

Scientists from the Institute for Animal Health, Pirbright, UK Met Office and the Jersey State Veterinary Service and Jersey Meteorological Department, are working together on an early-warning system to help defend cattle against the spread of 'bluetongue' disease, reveals a study published in Weather. The team is fusing meteorological data with ecological information to anticipate when disease carrying midges are likely to be carried on the wind from the continent to the UK and Channel Islands.

Related Articles


"The bluetongue virus, BTV, represents a major and unprecedented epidemic which has spread across Western Europe since 2006," said lead author Dr Christopher J. Sanders from the Institute for Animal Health. "While accurate estimates of costs incurred are not yet available, it is estimated that these could be in the order of many tens of millions of pounds."

BTV is carried by small biting midges, Culicoides, one of the smallest species of biting flies found on livestock. One bite from a midge fully infected with BTV can be enough to lead to infection in cattle and sheep, which can be fatal.

Since 1998 the range of the African species of biting midge has expanded from the Mediterranean basin resulting in an overlap with the range of European species. This enabled European species of midge to pick up virus from infected animals for the first time and go on to transmit it in Southern Europe. However, the arrival of BTV in northern Europe in 2006 was independent of this northwards movement of BTV, jumping north rather than from a gradual spread, and was reliant on transmission only by European midges common and widespread in the area.

In 2006 the disease was found in Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Germany; 700 km north of previous European outbreaks. In June 2007 the disease was once again reported in Germany and by October 2008 24,000 cases were reported in France alone. In September 2007, the first cases of BTV were discovered in the UK, where fortunately the outbreak was small.

The danger that the disease may again spread to the UK from across the channel is of special concern to the Channel Island of Jersey, which maintains a world renowned cattle industry, but is at heightened risk of infection if the disease becomes established along the Cherbourg peninsula or the Normandy and Brittany coastline.

The risk comes from the possibility that the tiny midges can be carried on the wind from the French coast to the Island. To monitor this threat the team set up midge light traps in farms across the island to monitor midge activity and to identify the presence of any potential vector species.

The results were then collated and analysed alongside data from the Jersey Meteorological Department, which allowed the team to pinpoint when livestock were at risk from a number of locations on the mainland. This information was fed into the UK Met Office early-warning website which has also been used on the mainland to help predict and defend against the disease.

"Environmental conditions, especially temperature, wind speed and direction have a significant impact on the biting midge in terms of activity and abundance," concluded Sanders. "Monitoring the midge population in Jersey will provide the farming community on the mainland with knowledge of when the midge season commences in the diseased areas of the near continent."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley-Blackwell. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Christopher J. Sanders, Laura Burgin, Anthony Pallot, James Barber, Nick Golding, Simon Carpenter, John Gloster. A study of potential bluetongue vectors and meteorology in Jersey. Weather, 2010; 65 (1): 21 DOI: 10.1002/wea.444

Cite This Page:

Wiley-Blackwell. "Early-warning system defends rare Jersey cows from disease spreading through Europe." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 January 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100105100017.htm>.
Wiley-Blackwell. (2010, January 6). Early-warning system defends rare Jersey cows from disease spreading through Europe. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100105100017.htm
Wiley-Blackwell. "Early-warning system defends rare Jersey cows from disease spreading through Europe." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100105100017.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) Miniature deep sea animals discovered off the Australian coast almost three decades ago are puzzling scientists, who say the organisms have proved impossible to categorise. Academics at the Natural History of Denmark have appealed to the world scientific community for help, saying that further information on Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides could answer key evolutionary questions. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) Price check on honey? Bear cub startles Oregon drugstore shoppers. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

AFP (Oct. 23, 2014) One man is on a mission to boost the population of wolves in China's violence-wracked far west. The animal - symbol of the Uighur minority there - is under threat with a massive human resettlement program in the region. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins