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Possible means of introduction of bluetongue virus serotype 8 (BTV-8) to Sweden in August 2008: comparison of results from two models for atmospheric transport of the Culicoides vector
  1. E. C. C. Ågren, DVM1,
  2. L. Burgin, BSc, MSc2,3,
  3. S. Sternberg Lewerin, DVM, PhD1,
  4. J. Gloster2,4 and
  5. M. Elvander, DVM, PhD1
  1. 1 Department of Disease Control and Epidemiology, National Veterinary Institute, 751 89 Uppsala, Sweden
  2. 2 Met Office, FitzRoy Road, Exeter EX1 3PB
  3. 3 School of Geography, University of Exeter, Exeter EX4 4QZ
  4. 4 Institute for Animal Health, Pirbright Laboratory, Ash Road, Pirbright, Woking, Surrey GU24 0NF
  1. E-mail for correspondence: estelle.agren{at}sva.se

Abstract

In September 2008, bluetongue virus serotype 8 (BTV-8) infection was detected for the first time in Sweden, in a dairy herd on the west coast. Two different previously published operational atmospheric dispersion models indicate that midges from infected regions in Europe are likely to have reached Sweden by atmospheric transport during an estimated infection window. Both models indicated that the likely dates for the incursion of midges were overnight on August 6 to 7 and August 14 to 15; however, the less constrained model indicated a number of additional possible dates. The distribution of infected herds detected by active surveillance coincides with the regions that were indicated by the models to have been reached by midges from regions in Denmark and Germany with infected herds. It is likely that several points of introduction of infected midges occurred, possibly on different occasions. No alternative routes for introduction of the infection to Sweden were identified, supporting the theory that BTV-8 was introduced by infected midges carried by the wind.

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