Given that bluetongue (BT) may potentially be transmitted by semen, that the disease has significantly expanded in recent years, and that millions of doses of cattle semen are annually traded throughout the world, the transmission of bluetongue virus (BTV) by semen could have severe consequences in the cattle industry. The hypothesis that infected bulls could excrete BTV in their semen led to restrictions on international trade of ruminant semen and the establishment of measures to prevent BTV transmission by semen. However, neither the risk of BTV transmission by semen nor the effectiveness of these measures was estimated quantitatively. The objective of the study was to assess, in case of introduction of BTV into a bovine semen collection centre (SCC), both the risk of BTV transmission by bovine semen and the risk reduction achieved by some of the preventive measures, by means of a stochastic risk assessment model. The model was applied to different scenarios, depending on for example the type of diagnostic test and the interval between the controls (testing) of donor bulls, or the rate of BTV spread within the SCC.Enzyme-linked immunosorbant assay (ELISA) controls of donor bulls every 60 days seemed to be an ineffective method for reducing the risk of BTV transmission in contrast to polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests every 28 days. An increase in the rate of spread within the SCC resulted in a reduced risk of BTV transmission by semen. The storage of semen for 30 days prior to dispatch seemed to be an efficient way of reducing the risk of transmission by semen.The sensitivity analysis identified the probability of BTV shedding in semen as a crucial parameter in the probability of BTV transmission by semen. However, there is a great degree of uncertainty associated with this parameter, with significant differences depending on the BTV serotype. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.
|Publication status||Published - 15 Mar 2011|
- Bovine semen
- Preventive measures
- Quantitative risk assessment