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Network modeling of BVD transmission

Mark Tinsley1*, Fraser I Lewis2 and Franz Brülisauer3

Author Affiliations

1 C. Eugene Bennett Department of Chemistry, West Virginia University, Morgantown, USA

2 Section of Epidemiology, University of Zurich, Switzerland

3 SAC Consulting Veterinary Services, Inverness, UK

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Veterinary Research 2012, 43:11  doi:10.1186/1297-9716-43-11

Published: 10 February 2012


Endemic diseases of cattle, such as bovine viral diarrhea, have significant impact on production efficiency of food of animal origin with consequences for animal welfare and climate change reduction targets. Many modeling studies focus on the local scale, examining the on-farm dynamics of this infectious disease. However, insight into prevalence and control across a network of farms ultimately requires a network level approach. Here, we implement understanding of infection dynamics, gained through these detailed on-farm modeling studies, to produce a national scale model of bovine viral diarrhea virus transmission. The complex disease epidemiology and on-farm dynamics are approximated using SIS dynamics with each farm treated as a single unit. Using a top down approach, we estimate on-farm parameters associated with contraction and subsequent clearance from infection at herd level. We examine possible control strategies associated with animal movements between farms and find measures targeted at a small number of high-movement farms efficient for rapid and sustained prevalence reduction.