The most recent occurrences of veterinary diseases transmitted by midges (Culicoides species) in the Netherlands were Bluetongue (2006) and Schmallenberg Disease (2011). Wageningen University & Research researchers are using midges as a model system to investigate the role of the gut microbiome on arboviral transmissions by blood-sucking insects. Micro-organisms in the midge’s gut systems play an important role in the modulation of their immune system. Variation in microbiome composition is expected to be based on environmental circumstances and nutrition. The researchers aim to find out if microbiome shifts also influence arboviral transmission frequencies.