Update on the situation of tomato brown rugose fruit virus in the Netherlands

Tomato brown rugose fruit virus (Tobamovirus, ToBRFV – EPPO A2 List) was first detected in the Netherlands in October 2019 in one greenhouse on tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) in the municipality of Westland (EPPO RS 2019/209) and later in 20 sites in 8 municipalities (RS 2020/225). National official measures have been implemented since October 2019 and are in line with EU regulation (EU implementing decisions 2019/1615 and 2020/1191).

The NPPO of the Netherlands informed the EPPO Secretariat that as of March 2021, measures are applied in 23 sites producing tomato fruit in 12 municipalities (436.8 ha in total). Since October 2019, ToBRFV had been detected in 32 companies (476.6 ha), it was eradicated in 5 companies (25.7 ha), and in 4 companies measures are on hold as non-host plants are cultivated. In 8 sites eradication was not successful and ToBRFV was confirmed in the new crop.

Measures in infected fruit production sites include strict hygiene measures (disinfection or replacement of clothing, machines, equipment, surfaces and packaging material). Disinfection with potassium peroxymonosulfate is recommended. Fruits may be harvested provided that specific hygiene measures are applied both at the production place and at the packing station, including cleaning and disinfection of packaging material. Following removal of the crop, cleaning and disinfection of the greenhouse, the production site is monitored, including testing at least six months after planting, to verify absence of the virus in the succeeding crop, before measures are lifted. Fruit growers reported losses varying between 5-30%. Some companies reported less than 5% loss. Other companies had to remove a crop and start a new crop. Costs of measures for official waste destruction amount to approximately EUR 5 000 – 10 000 per hectare. In addition, extra costs are needed for hygiene measures.

Seed lots are tested as part of trace-back measures. As a result, four seed lots tested positive. However, it was not possible to confirm whether these seeds had caused the infection of the fruit crop, since the sequencing of the virus was not possible. Following trace-back measures, measures were also applied in one site producing tomato plants for planting. The source of the outbreaks is not known. Based on genome sequencing analysis it is concluded that probably at least 3 different introductions have occurred.

Source: www.gd.eppo.int.


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