Updated pest categorisation of Xylella fastidiosa
Following a request from the European Commission, the EFSA Plant Health Panel updated its pest categorisation of Xylella fastidiosa, previously delivered as part of the pest risk assessment published in 2015. X. fastidiosa is a Gram‐negative bacterium, responsible for various plant diseases, including Pierce's disease, phony peach disease, citrus variegated chlorosis, olive quick decline syndrome, almond leaf scorch and various other leaf scorch diseases. The pathogen is endemic in the Americas and is present in Iran. In the EU, it is reported in southern Apulia in Italy, on the island of Corsica and in the Provence‐Alpes‐Côte d'Azur region in France, as well as in the Autonomous region of Madrid, the province of Alicante and the Balearic Islands in Spain. The reported status is ‘transient, under eradication’, except for the Balearic Islands, Corsica and southern of Apulia, where the status is ‘present with a restricted distribution, under containment’. The pathogen is regulated under Council Directive 2000/29/EC and through emergency measures under Decision (EU) 2015/789 (as amended Decision (EU) 2017/2352). The pest could enter the EU via host plants for planting and via infectious insect vectors. The host range includes hundreds of host species listed in the EFSA host plant database. In the EU, host plants are widely distributed and climatic conditions are favourable for its establishment. X. fastidiosa can spread by movement of host plants for planting and infectious insect vectors. X. fastidiosa is known to cause severe direct damage to major crops including almonds, citrus, grapevines, olives, stone fruits and also forest trees, landscape and ornamental trees, with high impacts. The criteria assessed by the Panel for consideration as a potential Union quarantine pest are met (the pathogen is present in the EU, but it has a restricted distribution and is under official control). X. fastidiosa is not considered as a regulated non‐quarantine pest (RNQP) as the pathogen may spread also via insect vector transmission.