Re-emergence of bluetongue, African horse sickness, and other Orbivirus diseases

Nigel J Maclachlan, Alan J. Guthrie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

187 Scopus citations


Arthropod-transmitted viruses (Arboviruses) are important causes of disease in humans and animals, and it is proposed that climate change will increase the distribution and severity of arboviral diseases. Orbiviruses are the cause of important and apparently emerging arboviral diseases of livestock, including bluetongue virus (BTV), African horse sickness virus (AHSV), equine encephalosis virus (EEV), and epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus (EHDV) that are all transmitted by haematophagous Culicoides insects. Recent changes in the global distribution and nature of BTV infection have been especially dramatic, with spread of multiple serotypes of the virus throughout extensive portions of Europe and invasion of the south-eastern USA with previously exotic virus serotypes. Although climate change has been incriminated in the emergence of BTV infection of ungulates, the precise role of anthropogenic factors and the like is less certain. Similarly, although there have been somewhat less dramatic recent alterations in the distribution of EHDV, AHSV, and EEV, it is not yet clear what the future holds in terms of these diseases, nor of other potentially important but poorly characterized Orbiviruses such as Peruvian horse sickness virus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalVeterinary Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2010


  • African horse sickness
  • Arbovirus emergence
  • Bluetongue
  • Climate change
  • Orbivirus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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