National Arbovirus Monitoring Program update

The National Arbovirus Monitoring Program (NAMP) monitors the distribution of three important insect-borne viruses (arboviruses) of livestock – Bluetongue virus (BTV), Bovine Ephemeral Fever (BEF or three day sickness) and Akabane. For a number of years, the zone of bluetongue virus activity in the Northern Territory has been largely unchanged and as a result of ongoing sampling from collaborating properties, virus activity had even been shown to be retreating northwards much to the benefit of producers in Central Australia. The recent detection of positive animals on a property in the southern Tennant Creek District has necessitated the movement of the NAMP Bluetongue Line southwards into the northern Alice Springs District. 

The Northern Territory currently has three zones under investigation namely a free zone, a surveillance zone and a virus activity (transmission) zone and these zones can change seasonally. Fifteen properties have been affected by the changes in their bluetongue status and DPIR has been in contact with properties in the new surveillance zone to obtain additional blood samples.

BTV Zones as at 19 July 2017

BTV Zones as at 19 July 2017


NAMP information is used to:

  • support trade
    NAMP information is used during export protocol negotiations and to assist exporters in meeting export certification requirements.
  • provide an early warning to producers
    Surveillance detects new incursions and warns producers of arbovirus spread into new areas where cattle not previously exposed may suffer severe symptoms.
  • manage risk
    Exporters can identify areas free from arbovirus activity to source live export cattle for arbovirus sensitive markets. The movement of the NAMP bluetongue line southwards will prevent access for live cattle to bluetongue sensitive markets from properties in the zone of possible transmission.  As this zone is largely determined by the distribution of the culicoides vectors, there is little that can be done other than to monitor the distribution through blood sampling and insect trapping.

Last updated: 07 August 2019