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Sci Rep. 2013;3:1178. doi: 10.1038/srep01178. Epub 2013 Jan 31.

Epidemic potential of an emerging vector borne disease in a marginal environment: Schmallenberg in Scotland.

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  • 1The Roslin Institute, The University of Edinburgh, Easter Bush, EH25 9RG. paul.bessell@roslin.ed.ac.uk


During 2011 Schmallenberg virus (SBV) presented as a novel disease of cattle and sheep that had apparently spread through northern Europe over a relatively short period of time, but has yet to infect Scotland. This paper describes the development of a model of SBV spread applied to Scotland in the event of an incursion. This model shows that SBV spread is very sensitive to the temperature, with relatively little spread and few reproductive losses predicted in years with average temperatures but extensive spread (>1 million animals infected) and substantial reproductive losses in the hottest years. These results indicate that it is possible for SBV to spread in Scotland, however spread is limited by climatic conditions and the timing of introduction. Further results show that the transmission kernel shape and extrinsic incubation period parameter have a non-linear effect on disease transmission, so a greater understanding of the SBV transmission parameters is required.

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