Bluetongue Virus and Culicoides in India
Bluetongue (BT) is an infectious, non-contagious disease of ruminants which inflicts major losses on subsistence sheep farmers in southern India. The agent that causes this disease (bluetongue virus: BTV), is largely transmitted by tiny flies called Culicoides biting midges. IBVNet examines ways to both predict and reduce the impact of BTV by monitoring monsoon-related Culicoides activity and exploring affordable methods for their control.
IBVNet is a three year Indo-UK collaborative project jointly funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the Scottish Government via the Combating Infectious Diseases of Livestock for International Development (CIDLID) initiative. It is coordinated by the Entomology group based at The Pirbright Institute (TPI) and through the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) funded All India Network Project on Bluetongue (AINP-BT). This new collaboration will allow the first multi-state surveys of Culicoides populations to be carried out in India, complimenting research already being carried out by AINP-BT on vaccination strategies.