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Midge-hunting scientists tackle spread of devastating bluetongue virus
Date:8/7/2008

e models can then be used along with weather forecasting to advise farmers as to when Culicoides populations are most active and to develop best practice for controlling the spread of the midges and the virus itself.

"All of this work contributes to the aims for better knowledge about Culicoides that were set out in the European Food Safety Authority's 'Scientific Opinion on Bluetongue' published a couple of weeks ago."

Kevin Pearce, National Farmers Union, said: "Bluetongue is a terrible disease of ruminant livestock. Our farmers have worked hard to contain this virus in the infected areas of the south east and East Anglia through vaccination and vigilance but we know that we couldn't have achieved this without the effort and knowledge of the scientists at IAH. Bluetongue shares its transmission vector - the midge - with other exotic, but equally serious, diseases such as African Horse Sickness so any knowledge and understanding of the midges' behaviour and breeding patterns are welcome. We wish the experts at IAH success in their endeavours with this project."


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Contact: Nancy Mendoza
press.office@bbsrc.ac.uk
44-017-934-13355
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Source:Eurekalert

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