Bluetongue outbreaks: Looking for effective control strategies against Culicoides vectors

Giovanni Benelli, Luca Buttazzoni, Angelo Canale, Armando D'Andrea, Paola Del Serrone, Gavino Delrio, Cipriano Foxi, Susanna Mariani, Giovanni Savini, Chithravel Vadivalagan, Kadarkarai Murugan, Chiara Toniolo, Marcello Nicoletti, Mauro Serafini

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

13 Citations (Scopus)


Several arthropod-borne diseases are now rising with increasing impact and risks for public health, due to environmental changes and resistance to pesticides currently marketed. In addition to community surveillance programs and a careful management of herds, a next-generation of effective products is urgently needed to control the spread of these diseases, with special reference to arboviral ones. Natural product research can afford alternative solutions. Recently, a re-emerging of bluetongue disease is ongoing in Italy. Bluetongue is a viral disease that affects ruminants and is spread through the bite of bloodsucking insects, especially Culicoides species. In this review, we focused on the importance of vector control programs for prevention or bluetongue outbreaks, outlining the lack of effective tools in the fight against Culicoides vectors. Then, we analyzed a field case study in Sardinia (Italy) concerning the utilization of the neem cake (Azadirachta indica), to control young instar populations of Culicoides biting midges, the vectors of bluetongue virus. Neem cake is a cheap and eco-friendly by-product obtained from the extraction of neem oil. Overall, we propose that the employ of neem extraction by-products as aqueous formulations in muddy sites close to livestock grazing areas may represent an effective tool in the fight against the spread of bluetongue virus in the Mediterranean areas.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263 - 270
Number of pages8
JournalResearch in Veterinary Science
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • veterinary(all)

Cite this

Benelli, G., Buttazzoni, L., Canale, A., D'Andrea, A., Del Serrone, P., Delrio, G., Foxi, C., Mariani, S., Savini, G., Vadivalagan, C., Murugan, K., Toniolo, C., Nicoletti, M., & Serafini, M. (2017). Bluetongue outbreaks: Looking for effective control strategies against Culicoides vectors. Research in Veterinary Science, 115, 263 - 270.