The current rules on bluetongue vaccination in EU: from the origin to date

Document Type : Research Articles


1 University of Camerino

2 University of Messinaly

3 University of Sassari

4 University of Messina


The Council Directive 2000/75/EC lays down controlling rules and measures to contrast and to eradicate bluetongue disease, including rules on the establishment of protection and surveillance zones and the use of vaccines against bluetongue.
In the past years, only sporadic incursions of certain serotypes of the bluetongue virus were recorded in EU. However, after the adoption of the Directive, and particularly after the
introduction into the Union of bluetongue viruses serotypes 1 and 8 in the years 2006-2007,the infection has become more widespread in EU, with the potential of becoming endemic in
certain areas.
The rules of vaccination against bluetongue laid down in Directive 2000/75/EC are based on the experience of the use of so-called “modified live vaccines”, or “live attenuated vaccines” that were the only available vaccines when the Directive was adopted. The use of those vaccines may lead to an undesired local circulation of the vaccine virus, also in unvaccinated animals.
In recent years inactivated vaccines against bluetongue, which does not pose a risk for unvaccinated animals, have been introduced. The widespread use of these vaccines, during a
vaccination campaign, led to a significant improvement in the disease situation. It’s now widely accepted that vaccination with inactivated vaccines is the preferred tool for the control
of bluetongue and prevention of this clinical disease in EU.
In order to ensure the better control of the bluetongue virus spread, the Authors underline the necessity to amend the current rules on vaccination to take account of recent technological developments in vaccine production.


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