Latest Developments of Xylella fastidiosa in the EU territory

Latest Developments of Xylella fastidiosa in the EU territory

Xylella fastidiosa is regularly discussed at the monthly meeting of the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed - Section Plant Health - with Member States. The reports are available here.

On 1st December 2017, Commissioner Andriukaitis and ministers from various Member States met in Paris in a high-level conference co-organized by the European Commission and the French ministry of Agriculture. See below the conclusions of this meeting:

Italy

In October 2013, the Italian Authorities notified the Commission of the first outbreak of X. fastidiosa subspecies pauca in the south of Apulia (Province of Lecce). In May 2015, the infected zone was declared as area under containment. Since then, the demarcated area has been updated on several occasions to address the spread of the pest to the neighboring Provinces of Taranto and Brindisi. Several appeals to the Court have slowed down the removal of infected olive trees located in some parts of the demarcated area. In March 2018, the Italian authorities notified the presence of Xylella in different parts of the buffer zone established at the time and in particular a large number of outbreaks in the last 20 km strip of the infected zone, adjacent to that buffer zone. The number of those outbreaks led to the conclusion that eradication of the pest in the buffer zone was no longer possible and, because of the significant delays in the removal of those infected plants and the risk of further spread towards the north of the Apulia region, on 27 June 2018, the Commission adopted the Decision (EU) 2018/927, extending the demarcated area by 20 km towards the north of the region. Please refer to the mapX. fastidiosa in Apulia has mainly infected olive trees, although the range of host plants increases as investigations progress (see Commission database of host plants found infected in the Union territories). No infections have been confirmed so far on Vitis and Citrus. Movement of specified plants out of demarcated area is currently not authorised, except for grapevine nursery material subject to hot water treatment.

France

In July 2015, the French Authorities notified the Commission of the first outbreak of X. fastidiosa subspecies multiplex in Corsica. Investigations are in progress: 25 outbreaks have been detected in PACA (departments: Var and Alpes-Maritimes) and some 350 in Corsica (see demarcated areas). The presence of X. fastidiosa subsp. pauca has also been detected in one outbreak in PACA (Menton). Movement of specified plants out of Corsica and PACA is currently not authorised. Survey activities continue in the buffer zones of the outbreak areas in PACA to provide a clear idea about the status of Xylella in those areas. As X. fastidiosa is considered to be established, the entire territory of Corsica was declared as area under containment on 14 December 2017. Ornamental plants, such as Polygala myrtifolia, are the main host plants affected, although new plant species are detected as investigations progress (see Commission database of host plants found infected in the Union territories).

Germany (Outbreak eradicated)

In June 2016, the German Authorities notified an isolated finding of Xylella fastidiosa subspecies fastidiosa in a potted plant of oleander located in a greenhouse of a small nursery of Saxony. Since then several other potted plants such as rosemary and other hybrid ornamental plants were detected in the nursery. All plants from the nursery were destroyed. Following intensive survey activities carried out in the buffer zone which confirmed the absence of any other positive cases, in line with Article 4(5) of Decision (EU) 2015/789, on 9 March 2018, the German Authorities declared the eradication of the outbreak and the lifting of the demarcated area.

Spain

In October 2016, the Spanish Authorities notified the Commission of the first outbreak of Xylella fastidiosa subspecies fastidiosa on three young cherry trees located in a garden centre of Mallorca. Since then a number of outbreaks has been detected in the Baleares, leading to the detection of different subspecies: X. fastidiosa subspecies fastidiosa (Mallorca), X. fastidiosa subspecies multiplex (Mallorca and Menorca), and X. fastidiosa subspecies pauca (Ibiza). Wild and cultivated olive trees, vines and almond trees are the main host plants, although new plant species are detected as investigations progress (see Commission database of host plants found infected in the Union territories). Because X. fastidiosa is considered to be established on the islands, the entire territory of Baleares was declared as area under containment on 14 December 2017 (see demarcated area). Movement of specified plants out of the Baleares is currently not authorised.

On 30 June 2017, the Spanish Authorities notified the presence of X. fastidiosa subsp. multiplex in Alicante (Autonomous Region of Valencia). Almond plants are the main host plants found infected so far, although positive cases have been also recently reported on plants of rosemary, myrtle-leaf milkwort, Helichrysum italicum and other few spontaneous plants.Surveys activities are ongoing with movement restrictions in place (see demarcated area).

Lastly, on 10 April 2018, the Spanish Authorities also notified the Commission of the first presence of X. fastidiosa susp. multiplex on one olive plant in open field, in Spain mainland, in the Autonomous Region of Madrid. The area was demarcated and eradication measures being taken, and movement of specified plants out of that area blocked. Surveys are ongoing.

Rest of the EU territory

All Member States must carry out annual surveys for the presence of Xylella fastidiosa in their territory on the entire list of specified plants. Any positive finding must be reported to the Commission and other Member States at the latest within 8 working days following the day of confirmation of the presence of Xylella fastidiosa.

At the present time, the Union territory with the exception of the officially demarcated areas is considered free from Xylella fastidiosa based on official surveys. For example, in 2016, 40,600 inspections with 20,000 samples were analysed in garden centers, nurseries and other sites across the Union territory, with the exclusion of the demarcated areas. In the demarcated areas established in the Union territory, instead, more than 110,000 samples were analysed in 2016.