Xylella fastidiosa, a plant pathogenic bacterium, was detected in olive trees in Lecce province in Apulia, Italy, in October 2013, the first outbreak under field conditions in the European Union. The European Commission asked EFSA to provide urgent scientific and technical assistance on X. fastidiosa. In November 2013 EFSA published a Statement in which it reviewed the host plant range and vectors of the pathogen, the pathways for entry and spread, and the risk reduction options. This was followed in January 2015 by a comprehensive assessment of the risks to plant health of X. fastidiosa for the EU and the identification and evaluation of risk reduction options. In March 2015 EFSA published a searchable electronic list of host plants of X. fastidiosa.
EFSA’s Panel on Plant Health concluded that X. fastidiosa presents a major risk to the EU territory because host plants and vectors are present throughout the EU and there are regions with favourable environmental conditions. Outbreaks of this pathogen have led to severe losses of citrus in South America and grapes in North America.