Dr Paul Bessell

Within EPIC, the focus of my research is on horizon scanning for disease threats to Scottish livestock. I analyse diseases that could cause outbreaks in Scottish livestock, but are not currently in Scotland. These might be diseases that we have experience of in Scotland such as foot and mouth disease, but I also monitor diseases that we may have never seen in Scotland, or indeed Europe. Contemporary examples include African swine fever and lumpy skin disease, both of which are diseases that have never previously been reported in the UK, but are circulating in Europe.

Where less is known about the disease or threat, I conduct assessment of the threat and potential for spread in Scotland. Where we have more knowledge I attempt to quantify the risks of a particular pathway for introduction. One example from 2014 was research into West Nile virus that estimated the likelihood of the virus being carried to the UK by migrating passerine birds. In EPIC 2, I supported this research with mathematical models to estimate the likely impacts of diseases once they are introduced and the potential for controlling these diseases using vaccination. Examples of such diseases are Schmallenberg virus and Bluetongue virus, both of which are spread by midge vectors.


A Tool for Prioritizing Livestock Disease Threats to Scotland. P.R. Bessell, H.K. Auty, H. Roberts, I.J. McKendrick, B.M.C. Bronsvoort and L.A. Boden

Risk-based strategies for surveillance of tuberculosis infection in cattle for low-risk areas in England and Scotland. LCM Salvador, M Deason, J Enright, PR Bessell, RR Kao

Animal Health Surveillance in Scotland in 2030: Using Scenario Planning to Develop Strategies in the Context of “Brexit”. LA Boden, H Auty, A Reeves, G Rydevik, P Bessell, IJ McKendrick

Alien Pathogens on the Horizon: Opportunities for Predicting their Threat to Wildlife. HE Roy, H Hesketh, BV Purse, J Eilenberg, A Santini, R Scalera, GD Stentiford, T Adriaens, K Bacela-Spychalska, D Bass, KM Beckmann, P Bessell, J Bojko, O Booy, AC Cardoso, F Essl, Q Groom, C Harrower, R Kleespies, AF Martinou, MM van Oers, EJ Peeler, J Pergl, W Rabitsch, A Roques, F Schaffner, S Schindler, BR Schmidt, K Schonrogge, J Smith, W Solarz, A Stewart, A Stroo, E Tricarico, KMA Turvey, A Vannini, M Vila, S Woodward, AA Wynns, AM Dunn

Assessing the potential for Bluetongue virus 8 to spread and vaccination strategies in Scotland. PR Bessell, KR Searle, HK Auty, IG Handel, BV Purse, BM Bronsvoort

Quantifying the Risk of Introduction of West Nile Virus into Great Britain by Migrating Passerine Birds. PR Bessell, RA Robinson, N Golding, KR Searle, IG Handel, LA Boden, BV Purse, BM Bronsvoort

Epidemic potential of an emerging vector borne disease in a marginal environment: Schmallenberg in Scotland. PR Bessell, KR Searle, HK Auty, IG Handel, BV Purse, BM Bronsvoort

Impact of temperature, feeding preference and vaccination on Schmallenberg virus transmission in Scotland. PR Bessell, HK Auty, KR Searle, IG Handel, BV Purse, BM Bronsvoort

Risk factors for bovine Tuberculosis at the national level in Great Britain. PR Bessell, R Orton, PCL White, MR Hutchings, RR Kao

Scenario planning: The future of the cattle and sheep industries in Scotland and their resiliency to disease. LA Boden, H Auty, P Bessell, D Duckett, J Liu, C Kyle, A McKee, L Sutherland, J Reynolds, BM Bronsvoort, IJ McKendrick

Scenario planning as communicative action: Lessons from participatory exercises conducted for the Scottish livestock industry. DG Duckett, AJ McKee, L Sutherland, C Kyle, LA Boden, H Auty, PR Bessell, IJ McKendrick

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