Understanding the effects of the direct contacts and the indirect contacts on the epidemic spreading among beef cattle farms in southwest Kansas

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Chunlin YiC. Scoglio


Moving infected animals and sharing contaminated equipment and vehicles are considered as the most effective ways for between-farm disease transmission. The objective of this study is to develop a network-based simulation model to investigate the effects of direct contact, indirect contact, and their combination on a hypothetical foot-and-mouth disease spread between beef-cattle farms in southwest Kansas, the US. Based on synthetic cattle and truck movement data in southwest Kansas, we build a farm-level contact network with two layers, a cattle movement layer (direct contacts) and a truck movement layer (indirect contacts). The S-E-I-R model is selected to describe the epidemiology of the foot-and-mouth disease with some parameters adopted from published literature. For two parameters | detection time and indirect transmission rate | we perform a sensitivity analysis. Through a thorough simulation analysis of three sets of scenarios, we compare the disease transmission dynamics, the distribution of outbreak epidemic size, and the disease breakout percentage -- note that for some simulations an initial infection will not produce a disease outbreak -- of different contact structures. Simulation results show that neither direct c...Continue Reading

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