Submitted to: Livestock Insect Worker's Conference Annual Meeting
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: June 1, 2009
Publication Date: June 21, 2009
Citation: Bennett, K.E. 2009. Biting Midges: Current Status and Trends. Livestock Insect Worker's Conference Annual Meeting. Technical Abstract: Biting midges are a significant pest of livestock and humans. They often emerge in huge numbers that can be a major annoyance as well as lead to serious livestock issues. This group of biting flies is known to vector numerous important livestock diseases including bluetongue, epizootic hemorrhagic disease, African horse sickness, and bovine ephemeral fever. Recent outbreaks of BTV and EHDV and incursions of exotic serotypes of these viruses have raised concerns over the epidemiology of these diseases, and the reason for their emergence and/or re-emergence. BTV and EHDV have been closely tied to the presence of suitable vectors. Changes in the geographic range of primary vector species, and the discovery of virus transmission by species previously considered to be poor vectors are thought to be important factors in the changes seen in disease occurrence. Without effective cross-protective vaccines available, insect control may play an important role in controlling disease outbreaks. The influence of climate change and potential mechanisms of inter-epidemic virus maintenance are discussed.