Sustainable Management of Plant Quarantine Pests: The Case of Olive Quick Decline Syndrome
The disease outbreak of Xylella fastidiosa subsp. pauca strain CoDiRO (Complesso del Disseccamento Rapido dell'Olivo) in Salento (Apulia, South Italy) associated with severe cases of olive quick decline syndrome may represent not just a new disease paradigm, but a challenge for policy formulation and science communication in plant pathology. Plant health management can be achieved by applying a technocratic model, in which objective science is thought to directly inform policy-making, or via decisionistic or inclusive models, in which scientific considerations drive risk assessment. Each could be applied to X. fastidiosa and CoDiRO strain management, thanks to consistent literature related to pathogen/host interactions, hosts, vectors, and diagnostic tools, reviewed here. However, consensus among stakeholders seems to be necessary in order to avoid plant health management failures or gridlocks, due to environmental, economic, and social implications in the X. fastidiosa threat. Here we discuss the role of consensus in building scientific opinion, reporting different approaches of governance after severe disease outbreaks in Europe. These case studies, and the available risk analysis for Xylella strains, should drive policy formulations towards more cooperative networks.