Infestation with Psoroptes ovis represents a major welfare concern and a significant economic burden on the sheep and cattle industries.
In some EU regions, psoroptic mange is the most common skin disease of cattle, with associated severe production losses and impacts on animal welfare.
In cattle, beef breeds are more susceptible than dairy breeds to P. ovis, with the Belgian Blue being particularly sensitive.
The breed has been exported to other countries and mange problems are often caused by imported Belgian Blues.
Current treatment options are not straightforward and failure to kill the mites can lead to a prolonged serious disease outbreak within a herd
The research in PARAGONE seeks to understand the mechanisms of immunity to P. ovis, with a view to developing an effective vaccine for control of the disease in cattle.