Apr 18, 2020

Towards resilient beef cattle production systems: Impact of truck contamination and information sharing on foot-and-mouth disease spreading

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Qihui YangC. M. Scoglio


As cattle movement data in the United States are scarce due to the absence of mandatory traceability programs, previous epidemic models for U.S. cattle production systems heavily rely on contact rates estimated based on expert opinions and survey data. These models are often based on static networks and ignore the sequence of movement, possibly overestimating the epidemic sizes. In this research, we adapt and employ an agent-based model that simulates beef cattle production and transportation in southwest Kansas to analyze the between-premises transmission of a highly contagious disease, the foot-and-mouth disease. First, we assess the impact of truck contamination on the disease transmission with the truck agent following an independent clean-infected-clean cycle. Second, we add an information-sharing functionality such that producers/packers can trace back and forward their trade records to inform their trade partners during outbreaks. Scenario analysis results show that including indirect contact routes between premises via truck movements can significantly increase the amplitude of disease spread, compared with equivalent scenarios that only consider animal movement. Mitigation strategies informed by information sharing can...Continue Reading

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