The transmission potential of Rift Valley fever virus among livestock in the Netherlands: a modelling study

E.A.J. Fischer, G.J. Boender, G. Nodelijk, A.A. de Koeijer, H.J.W. van Roermund

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) is a zoonotic vector-borne infection and causes a potentially severe disease. Many mammals are susceptible to infection including important livestock species. Although currently confined to Africa and the near-East, this disease causes concern in countries in temperate climates where both hosts and potential vectors are present, such as the Netherlands. Currently, an assessment of the probability of an outbreak occurring in this country is missing. To evaluate the transmission potential of RVFV, a mathematical model was developed and used to determine the initial growth and the Floquet ratio, which are indicators of the probability of an outbreak and of persistence in a periodic changing environment caused by seasonality. We show that several areas of the Netherlands have a high transmission potential and risk of persistence of the infection. Counter-intuitively, these are the sparsely populated livestock areas, due to the high vector-host ratios in these areas. Culex pipiens s.l. is found to be the main driver of the spread and persistence, because it is by far the most abundant mosquito. Our investigation underscores the importance to determine the vector competence of this mosquito species for RVFV and its host preference.
Original languageEnglish
Article number58
JournalVeterinary Research
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • west-nile-virus
  • adult culex-pipiens
  • vector competence
  • diptera-culicidae
  • mosquito diptera
  • vexans diptera
  • saudi-arabia
  • infection
  • population
  • dynamics


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