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Assessing the impact of climate change on vector-borne viruses in the EU through the elicitation of expert opinion

Gale, P.F. and Brouwer, A. and Ramnial, V. and Kelly, L. and Kosmider, R.D. and Fooks, A.R. and Snary, E.L. (2010) Assessing the impact of climate change on vector-borne viruses in the EU through the elicitation of expert opinion. Infection and Epidemiology, 138 (2). pp. 214-225. ISSN 0950-2688

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Abstract

Expert opinion was elicited to undertake a qualitative risk assessment to estimate the current and future risks to the European Union (EU) from five vector-borne viruses listed by the World Organization for Animal Health. It was predicted that climate change will increase the risk of incursions of African horse sickness virus (AHSV), Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever virus (CCHFV) and Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) into the EU from other parts of the world, with African swine fever virus (ASFV) and West Nile virus (WNV) being less affected. Currently the predicted risks of incursion were lowest for RVFV and highest for ASFV. Risks of incursion were considered for six routes of entry (namely vectors, livestock, meat products, wildlife, pets and people). Climate change was predicted to increase the risk of incursion from entry of vectors for all five viruses to some degree, the strongest effects being predicted for AHSV, CCHFV and WNV. This work will facilitate identification of appropriate risk management options in relation to adaptations to climate change.