Eradication of citrus huanglongbing in Argentina
In June 2012, citrus huanglongbing (associated with ‘Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus’ – EPPO A1 List) was detected for the first time in Argentina (EPPO RS 2012/183). The NPPO of Argentina (SENASA) recently provided the EPPO Secretariat with more details about this finding and its eradication.
Within the framework of the ‘National HLB Prevention Program’ carried out by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries of Argentina, inspectors from SENASA detected and destroyed a tangerine plant (Citrus reticulata) which was infected by citrus huanglongbing. This plant was found in a private residence in the locality of Puerto Deseado (General Belgrano department - Misiones province), a few kilometres away from the border with Brazil. The area where the finding was made is composed of small family homes and gardens, most of which grow Ilex paraguariensis (yerba mate). In addition, it is surrounded by protected natural parks and is not an area of commercial citrus production.
As part of a contingency plan, eradication measures were immediately taken and included: 1) destruction of the infected tree; 2) intensification of monitoring activities within a radius of 10 km around the finding site on all potential host plants of the disease and its vector (Diaphorina citri), including those occurring in urban or semi-urban areas. As a result of these monitoring activities, 260 samples were collected and tested by real-time PCR and/or nested PCR. 15 plants were found to be infected and destroyed. By now, all potential hosts located around affected plants have been surveyed covering a total surface of 50,000 ha. Monitoring activities were also extended to other parts of Argentina covering more than 52,000 sites with potential host plants. It is underlined that all citrus fruit-producing provinces were part of the monitoring programme. Tests were performed on 13,160 samples collected from host plant material and D. citri; all gave negative results. Therefore, the NPPO of Argentina concluded that its territory should now be considered as free from citrus huanglongbing.
Additional information can be viewed on the SENASA website (in Spanish):
NPPO of Argentina (2012-11).