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The high cost of sheep scab
  1. Emily J Nixon, epidemiologist,
  2. Richard Wall, parasitologist,
  3. Hannah Rose Vineer, epidemiologist and
  4. Lesley Stubbings, sheep consultant
  1. School of Biological Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 1TQ
  2. Department of Infection Biology and Microbiomes, Institute of Infection, Veterinary and Ecological Sciences, University of Liverpool, Liverpool CH64 7TE
  3. LSSC, Aldwincle, Northamptonshire NN14 3UU
  1. email: emily.nixon{at}

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Sheep scab is a highly pathogenic, contagious disease caused by infestation with the mite Psoroptes ovis; after reintroduction in the UK over 50 years ago its incidence has increased exponentially and it is now a widespread and persistent problem, particularly in upland flocks.

We estimate that the true cost of scab to the sheep industry in Great Britain is …

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