ResearchPad - veterinary-diseases https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Forecasting the monthly incidence rate of brucellosis in west of Iran using time series and data mining from 2010 to 2019]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13811 The identification of statistical models for the accurate forecast and timely determination of the outbreak of infectious diseases is very important for the healthcare system. Thus, this study was conducted to assess and compare the performance of four machine-learning methods in modeling and forecasting brucellosis time series data based on climatic parameters.MethodsIn this cohort study, human brucellosis cases and climatic parameters were analyzed on a monthly basis for the Qazvin province–located in northwestern Iran- over a period of 9 years (2010–2018). The data were classified into two subsets of education (80%) and testing (20%). Artificial neural network methods (radial basis function and multilayer perceptron), support vector machine and random forest were fitted to each set. Performance analysis of the models were done using the Root Mean Square Error (RMSE), Mean Absolute Error (MAE), Mean Absolute Root Error (MARE), and R2 criteria.ResultsThe incidence rate of the brucellosis in Qazvin province was 27.43 per 100,000 during 2010–2019. Based on our results, the values of the RMSE (0.22), MAE (0.175), MARE (0.007) criteria were smaller for the multilayer perceptron neural network than their values in the other three models. Moreover, the R2 (0.99) value was bigger in this model. Therefore, the multilayer perceptron neural network exhibited better performance in forecasting the studied data. The average wind speed and mean temperature were the most effective climatic parameters in the incidence of this disease.ConclusionsThe multilayer perceptron neural network can be used as an effective method in detecting the behavioral trend of brucellosis over time. Nevertheless, further studies focusing on the application and comparison of these methods are needed to detect the most appropriate forecast method for this disease. ]]> <![CDATA[Resting state networks of the canine brain under sevoflurane anaesthesia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N0f88adec-494f-4799-9601-5a30499e23df

Resting-state functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (rs-fMRI) has become an established technique in humans and reliably determines several resting state networks (RSNs) simultaneously. Limited data exist about RSN in dogs. The aim of this study was to investigate the RSNs in 10 healthy beagle dogs using a 3 tesla MRI scanner and subsequently perform group-level independent component analysis (ICA) to identify functionally connected brain networks. Rs-fMRI sequences were performed under steady state sevoflurane inhalation anaesthesia. Anaesthetic depth was titrated to the minimum level needed for immobilisation and mechanical ventilation of the patient. This required a sevoflurane MAC between 0.8 to 1.2. Group-level ICA dimensionality of 20 components revealed distributed sensory, motor and higher-order networks in the dogs’ brain. We identified in total 7 RSNs (default mode, primary and higher order visual, auditory, two putative motor-somatosensory and one putative somatosensory), which are common to other mammals including humans. Identified RSN are remarkably similar to those identified in awake dogs. This study proves the feasibility of rs-fMRI in anesthetized dogs and describes several RSNs, which may set the basis for investigating pathophysiological characteristics of various canine brain diseases.

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<![CDATA[The Bos taurus maternal microbiome: Role in determining the progeny early-life upper respiratory tract microbiome and health]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c89770cd5eed0c4847d233e

Natural transference of maternal microbes to the neonate, especially at birth via the vaginal canal, has recently been recognized in humans and cows; however, its microbial influence on calf health has not yet been documented. We compared the bacterial communities in vaginal and fecal samples from 81 pregnant dairy cows versus those in nasopharyngeal and fecal samples collected at 3, 14 and 35 days of life from their respective progeny. The microbiota of the calf upper respiratory tract (URT), regardless of calf age, was found to be highly similar to the maternal vaginal microbiota. Calf fecal microbiota clustered closely to the maternal fecal microbiota, progressing toward an adult-like state over the first 35 days when relative abundances of taxa were considered. Sixty-four, 65 and 87% of the detected OTUs were shared between cow and calf fecal microbiota at days 3, 14 and 35 respectively, whereas 73, 76 and 87% were shared between maternal vaginal microbiome and calf URT microbiota at days 3, 14 and 35, respectively. Bacteroidetes, Ruminococcus, Clostridium, and Blautia were the top four genera identified in maternal and calf fecal samples. Mannheimia, Moraxella, Bacteroides, Streptococcus and Pseudomonas were the top five genera identified in maternal vaginal and calf URT samples. Mannheimia was relatively more abundant in the vaginal microbiota of cows whose progeny were diagnosed with respiratory and middle ear disease. Our results indicate that maternal vaginal microbiota potentially influences the initial bacterial colonization of the calf URT, and that might have an important impact on the health of the calf respiratory tract and middle ear.

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<![CDATA[Small-scale and backyard livestock owners needs assessment in the western United States]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6f14bdd5eed0c48467a78c

The number of small-scale and backyard livestock and poultry owners in urban and peri-urban areas has increased greatly over the last 10 years in the U.S. However, these animal owners may live in areas without access to livestock and/or poultry veterinary care. The purpose of this study was to identify potential veterinary service needs of these animal owners in the western US, assess their use of management and husbandry practices with regards to disease prevention, and assess their attitudes about animal health and food safety. A semi-structured survey was made available to small-scale and backyard livestock and poultry owners in Washington State, California, Colorado and Oregon. The survey instrument included questions about types of animals reared, uses of the animals, veterinary services and information-seeking behaviors of owners, attitudes on animal health and food safety, and management practices. Four hundred thirty-five individuals completed at least some portion of the survey. Most described themselves as living in rural areas (76%). Most (86%) owned chickens, 53% owned small ruminants, and 31% owned cattle. Many individuals owned more than one species and most had fewer than 20 animals of a given species. About 74% of respondents utilized their animals’ products for their own consumption but 48% sold animal products (primarily through internet sales (35%) or farmers’ markets (25%)). Overwhelmingly, respondents gained information about animal health (82%) and animal treatment procedures (71%) from the internet. Respondents reported their veterinarian’s practice type as companion animal (26%) or a mixed animal or food animal predominant (66%). Overall, respondents were very satisfied with the level of care (82%), but 43% had not sought animal health care in last 12 months. However, the veterinarian’s primary practice type and owner’s satisfaction with veterinary care were associated with their location (state), species owned, and urban or peri-urban setting. Livestock species type (cattle, small ruminants and swine), and use (personal or commercial) were associated with implementation of different biosecurity practices. The results of this survey highlight some of the needs of these animal owners for veterinary care and information which are location- and species-specific. Veterinary care for these small-scale and backyard animals is vital to the health and welfare of the animals as well as for identification of zoonoses and assurance of the food safety of animal products.

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<![CDATA[Ecological niche modeling the potential geographic distribution of four Culicoides species of veterinary significance in Florida, USA]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c7067aad5eed0c4847c7470

Epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) is a viral arthropod-borne disease affecting wild and domestic ruminants, caused by infection with epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus (EHDV). EHDV is transmitted to vertebrate animal hosts by biting midges in the genus Culicoides Latreille (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae). Culicoides sonorensis Wirth and Jones is the only confirmed vector of EHDV in the United States but is considered rare in Florida and not sufficiently abundant to support EHDV transmission. This study used ecological niche modeling to map the potential geographical distributions and associated ecological variable space of four Culicoides species suspected of transmitting EHDV in Florida, including Culicoides insignis Lutz, Culicoides stellifer (Coquillett), Culicoides debilipalpis Hoffman and Culicoides venustus Lutz. Models were developed with the Genetic Algorithm for Rule Set Production in DesktopGARP v1.1.3 using species occurrence data from field sampling along with environmental variables from WorldClim and Trypanosomiasis and Land use in Africa. For three Culicoides species (C. insignis, C. stellifer and C. debilipalpis) 96–98% of the presence points were predicted across the Florida landscape (63.8% - 72.5%). For C. venustus, models predicted 98.00% of presence points across 27.4% of Florida. Geographic variations were detected between species. Culicoides insignis was predicted to be restricted to peninsular Florida, and in contrast, C. venustus was predicted to be primarily in north Florida and the panhandle region. Culicoides stellifer and C. debilipalpis were predicted nearly statewide. Environmental conditions also differed by species, with some species’ ranges predicted by more narrow ranges of variables than others. The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) was a major predictor of C. venustus and C. insignis presence. For C. stellifer, Land Surface Temperature, Middle Infrared were the most limiting predictors of presence. The limiting variables for C. debilipalpis were NDVI Bi-Annual Amplitude and NDVI Annual Amplitude at 22.5% and 28.1%, respectively. The model outputs, including maps and environmental variable range predictions generated from these experiments provide an important first pass at predicting species of veterinary importance in Florida. Because EHDV cannot exist in the environment without the vector, model outputs can be used to estimate the potential risk of disease for animal hosts across Florida. Results also provide distribution and habitat information useful for integrated pest management practices.

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<![CDATA[Strategies to increase adoption of animal vaccines by smallholder farmers with focus on neglected diseases and marginalized populations]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c65dcb2d5eed0c484dec06c

Background

Most smallholder farmers (SHFs) and marginalized populations (MPs) in Africa, Asia, and Latin America depend on livestock for their livelihoods. However, significant numbers of these animals do not achieve their potential, die due to disease, or transmit zoonotic diseases. Existing vaccines could prevent and control some of these diseases, but frequently the vaccines do not reach SHFs, especially MPs, making it necessary for specific vaccine adoption strategies.

Principal findings

Several strategies that have the potential to increase the adoption of animal vaccines by SHFs and MPs have been identified depending on the type of vaccines involved. The strategies differed depending on whether the vaccines were aimed at diseases that cause economic losses, government-controlled diseases, or neglected diseases. The adoption of vaccines for neglected diseases presents a major challenge, because they are mostly for zoonotic diseases that produce few or no clinical signs in the animals, making it more difficult for the farmers to appreciate the value of the vaccines.

Strategies can be aimed at increasing the availability of quality vaccines, so that they are produced in sufficient quantity, or aimed at increasing access and demand by SHFs and/or MPs. Some of the strategies to increase vaccine adoption might not provide a definite solution but might facilitate vaccine uptake by decreasing barriers. These strategies are varied and include technical considerations, policy components, involvement by the private sector (local and international), and innovation.

Conclusions

Several strategies with the potential to reduce livestock morbidity and mortality, or prevent zoonoses in SHFs communities and MPs through vaccination, require the involvement of donors and international organisations to stimulate and facilitate sustainable adoption. This is especially the case for neglected zoonotic diseases. Support for national and regional vaccine manufacturers is also required, especially for vaccines against diseases of interest only in the developing world and public goods.

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<![CDATA[Knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding rabies in Grenada]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c59febfd5eed0c48413538b

Objective

While Grenada attained a zero-human-rabies case status since 1970, the authors conducted the first study to assess knowledge, attitudes, and practices that may contribute to this status as well as to receive feedback on the rabies control program in Grenada.

Methodology

A cross-sectional survey was conducted in July, 2017 with 996 households on the mainland. A questionnaire was administered to collect information on knowledge of rabies and prevention, vaccination practices, perception of institutional responsibilities for rabies control, and evaluation of the anti-rabies program.

Results

Of the 996 households, 617 (62%) had owners of animals that can be infected with rabies and were included in the analysis. Respondents were very aware of rabies as a disease that can infect animals and humans. The rate of participation in the vaccination program was 51.6% for pets and 38.0% for livestock. About 40% of respondents were knowledgeable about the extent of protection from the rabies vaccine. Respondents did not demonstrate exceptionally high levels of knowledge about animals that were likely to be infected with rabies, neither the anti-rabies programs that were conducted in Grenada. The three most frequent recommendations made to improve the rabies-control programs were: increase education programs, control the mongoose population, and expand the vaccination period each year.

Conclusions

Conducting a comprehensive national rabies education program, expanding the vaccination program, and increasing the rate of animal vaccination are important steps that need to be taken to maintain the current zero-human-case status.

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<![CDATA[A simple method to estimate the number of doses to include in a bank of vaccines. The case of Lumpy Skin Disease in France]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c57e6d7d5eed0c484ef3f58

A simple method to estimate the size of the vaccine bank needed to control an epidemic of an exotic infectious disease in case of introduction into a country is presented. The method was applied to the case of a Lumpy Skin disease (LSD) epidemic in France. The size of the stock of vaccines needed was calculated based on a series of simple equations that use some trigonometric functions and take into account the spread of the disease, the time required to obtain good vaccination coverage and the cattle density in the affected region. Assuming a 7-weeks period to vaccinate all the animals and a spread of the disease of 7.3 km/week, the vaccination of 740 716 cattle would be enough to control an epidemic of LSD in France in 90% of the simulations (608 196 cattle would cover 75% of the simulations). The results of this simple method were then validated using a dynamic simulation model, which served as reference for the calculation of the vaccine stock required. The differences between both models in different scenarios, related with the time needed to vaccinate the animals, ranged from 7% to 10.5% more vaccines using the simple method to cover 90% of the simulations, and from 9.0% to 13.8% for 75% of the simulations. The model is easy to use and may be adapted for the control of different diseases in different countries, just by using some simple formulas and few input data.

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<![CDATA[Spatio-temporal trends in the frequency of interspecific interactions between domestic and wild ungulates from Mediterranean Spain]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c57e6f0d5eed0c484ef4460

Controlling infections shared by wildlife and livestock requires the understanding and quantification of interspecific interactions between the species involved. This is particularly important in extensive multi-host systems, in which controlled domestic animals interact with uncontrolled, abundant and expanding wild species, such as wild ungulates. We have, therefore, quantified the interspecific interactions between wild boar (Sus scrofa) and free-ranging cattle in Mediterranean Spain, along with their spatio-temporal variability. GPS-GSM-collars were used to monitor 12 cows and 14 wild boar in the Doñana National Park between 2011 and 2013. Interactions were defined as encounters between cattle and wild boar within a spatio-temporal window of 52 m and 1 hour. On average, each wild boar interacted with one cow 1.5 ± (SE) 0.5 times per day, while each cow interacted with one wild boar 1.3 ± 0.4 times per day. The frequency of interaction was significantly higher during crepuscular hours owing to the overlap of both species’ activity, and also during spring and autumn, probably owing to a higher individual aggregation around shared resources. Finally, the frequency of interaction was higher near the most significant shared resources (e.g. water points) but was lower in areas with dense vegetation. The results presented here show the usefulness of GPS monitoring as regards quantifying interactions and helping to clarify the process of pathogen transmission at the wildlife-livestock interface in Mediterranean Spain, along with the main spatio-temporal risk factors. In a changing scenario in which European populations of wild ungulates are increasing, more efficient measures with which to control interactions are required to meet the demands of farmers and managers. Our results, therefore, provide directional hypotheses that could be used to design disease control programmes.

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<![CDATA[Consumer attitudes towards production diseases in intensive production systems]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c40f816d5eed0c484387037

Many members of the public and important stakeholders operating at the upper end of the food chain, may be unfamiliar with how food is produced, including within modern animal production systems. The intensification of production is becoming increasingly common in modern farming. However, intensive systems are particularly susceptible to production diseases, with potentially negative consequences for farm animal welfare (FAW). Previous research has demonstrated that the public are concerned about FAW, yet there has been little research into attitudes towards production diseases, and their approval of interventions to reduce these. This research explores the public’s attitudes towards, and preferences for, FAW interventions in five European countries (Finland, Germany, Poland, Spain and the UK). An online survey was conducted for broilers (n = 789), layers (n = 790) and pigs (n = 751). Data were analysed by means of Kruskal-Wallis ANOVA, exploratory factor analysis and structural equation modelling. The results suggest that the public have concerns regarding intensive production systems, in relation to FAW, naturalness and the use of antibiotics. The most preferred interventions were the most “proactive” interventions, namely improved housing and hygiene measures. The least preferred interventions were medicine-based, which raised humane animal care and food safety concerns amongst respondents. The results highlighted the influence of the identified concerns, perceived risks and benefits on attitudes and subsequent behavioural intention, and the importance of supply chain stakeholders addressing these concerns in the subsequent communications with the public.

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<![CDATA[Molecular typing of Streptococcus suis strains isolated from diseased and healthy pigs between 1996-2016]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6059f1d5eed0c4847cc4d8

Streptococcus suis is an economically important pathogen of pigs as well as a zoonotic cause of human disease. Serotyping is used for further characterization of isolates; some serotypes seem to be more virulent and more widely spread than others. This study characterizes a collection of German field isolates of Streptococcus suis from pigs dating from 1996 to 2016 with respect to capsular genes (cps) specific for individual serotypes and pathotype by multiplex PCR and relates results to the clinical background of these isolates. The most prominent finding was the reduction in prevalence of serotype-2/serotype-1/2 among invasive isolates during this sampling period, which might be attributed to widely implemented autogenous vaccination programs in swine against serotype 2 in Germany. In diseased pigs (systemically ill; respiratory disease) isolates of serotype-1/serotype-14, serotype-2/serotype-1/2, serotype 3 to 5 and 7 to 9 were most frequent while in carrier isolates a greater variety of cps types was found. Serotype-1/serotype-14 seemed to be preferentially located in joints, serotype 4 and serotype 3 in the central nervous system, respectively. The virulence associated extracellular protein factor was almost exclusively associated with invasive serotype-1/serotype-14 and serotype-2/serotype-1/2 isolates. In contrast, lung isolates of serotype-2/serotype-1/2 mainly harbored the gene for muramidase-released protein. Serotype 4 and serotype 9 isolates from clinically diseased pigs most frequently carried the muramidase-released protein gene and the suilysin gene. When examined by transmission electron microscopy all but one of the isolates which were non-typable by molecular and serological methods showed various amounts of capsular material indicating potentially new serotypes among these isolates. Given the variety of cps types/serotypes detected in pigs, not only veterinarians but also medical doctors should consider other serotypes than just serotype 2 when investigating potential human cases of Streptococcus suis infection.

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<![CDATA[Therapeutic effect of a Chlamydia pecorum recombinant major outer membrane protein vaccine on ocular disease in koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3d014dd5eed0c48403a16e

Chlamydia pecorum is responsible for causing ocular infection and disease which can lead to blindness in koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus). Antibiotics are the current treatment for chlamydial infection and disease in koalas, however, they can be detrimental for the koala’s gastrointestinal tract microbiota and in severe cases, can lead to dysbiosis and death. In this study, we evaluated the therapeutic effects provided by a recombinant chlamydial major outer membrane protein (MOMP) vaccine on ocular disease in koalas. Koalas with ocular disease (unilateral or bilateral) were vaccinated and assessed for six weeks, evaluating any changes to the conjunctival tissue and discharge. Samples were collected pre- and post-vaccination to evaluate both humoral and cell-mediated immune responses. We further assessed the infecting C. pecorum genotype, host MHC class II alleles and presence of koala retrovirus type (KoRV-B). Our results clearly showed an improvement in the clinical ocular disease state of all seven koalas, post-vaccination. We observed increases in ocular mucosal IgA antibodies to whole C. pecorum elementary bodies, post-vaccination. We found that systemic cell-mediated immune responses to interferon-γ, interleukin-6 and interleukin-17A were not significantly predictive of ocular disease in koalas. Interestingly, one koala did not have as positive a clinical response (in one eye primarily) and this koala was infected with a C. pecorum genotype (E’) that was not used as part of the vaccine formula (MOMP genotypes A, F and G). The predominant MHC class II alleles identified were DAb*19, DAb*21 and DBb*05, with no two koalas identified with the same genetic sequence. Additionally, KoRV-B, which is associated with chlamydial disease outcome, was identified in two (29%) ocular diseased koalas, which still produced vaccine-induced immune responses and clinical ocular improvements post-vaccination. Our findings show promise for the use of a recombinant chlamydial MOMP vaccine for the therapeutic treatment of ocular disease in koalas.

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<![CDATA[Validation of modified radio-frequency identification tag firmware, using an equine population case study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3fa5fcd5eed0c484caad7f

Background

Contact networks can be used to assess disease spread potential within a population. However, the data required to generate the networks can be challenging to collect. One method of collecting this type of data is by using radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags. The OpenBeacon RFID system generally consists of tags and readers. Communicating tags should be within 10m of the readers, which are powered by an external power source. The readers are challenging to implement in agricultural settings due to the lack of a power source and the large area needed to be covered.

Methods

OpenBeacon firmware was modified to use the tag’s onboard flash memory for data storage. The tags were deployed within an equine facility for a 7-day period. Tags were attached to the horses’ halters, worn by facility staff, and placed in strategic locations around the facility to monitor which participants had contact with the specified locations during the study period. When the tags came within 2m of each other, they recorded the contact event participant IDs, and start and end times. At the end of the study period, the data were downloaded to a computer and analyzed using network analysis methods.

Results

The resulting networks were plausible given the facility schedule as described in a survey completed by the facility manager. Furthermore, changes in the daily facility operations as described in the survey were reflected in the tag-collected data. In terms of the battery life, 88% of batteries maintained a charge for at least 6 days. Lastly, no consistent trends were evident in the horses’ centrality metrics.

Discussion

This study demonstrates the utility of RFID tags for the collection of equine contact data. Future work should include the collection of contact data from multiple equine facilities to better characterize equine disease spread potential in Ontario.

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<![CDATA[Optimising the short and long-term clinical outcomes for koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) during treatment for chlamydial infection and disease]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c2e7fd2d5eed0c48451b867

Koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) have suffered severe declines in the northern extent of their range due to a variety of threats, including habitat destruction, trauma from cars and dogs, climate change and importantly, disease. The most significant pathogen in koalas is Chlamydia pecorum, which causes inflammation and fibrosis at mucosal sites, resulting in blindness, infertility and death in severe cases. Chlamydia treatment can be problematic in koalas as the response to treatment is often poor in chronic cases and antimicrobial choice is limited. Thus, chlamydial disease is a severely threatening process for koala conservation. We investigated the short and long-term clinical outcomes for 167 koalas with Chlamydia that underwent capture, telemetric monitoring and intensive veterinary management as part of a large-scale population management program in South East Queensland. Chlamydia treatments included the standard regimen of daily subcutaneous chloramphenicol injections (60mg/kg) for 14 to 28-days, and a variety of non-standard regimens such as topical antimicrobials only (for ocular disease), surgical treatment only (for bilateral reproductive tract disease), and other antimicrobials/treatment lengths. To assess these regimens we analysed clinical records, field monitoring data and swab samples collected from the urogenital tract and ocular conjunctiva. Overall, in contrast to other studies, treatment was generally successful with 86.3% of treated koalas released back into the wild. The success of treatment rose to 94.8% however, when the standard treatment regimen was employed. Further, 100% of koalas that were also treated with surgical ovariohysterectomy (n = 12) remained healthy for a median of 466 days of post-treatment monitoring, demonstrating the benefits of surgical treatment. Previous studies reported 45-day chloramphenicol regimens, but the shorter standard regimen still achieved microbiological cure and reduces the risk of negative sequelae associated with treatment and/or captivity and treatment costs. Despite these positive clinical outcomes, alternatives to chloramphenicol are warranted due to its decreasing availability.

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<![CDATA[What is epidemiology? Changing definitions of epidemiology 1978-2017]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1813a4d5eed0c48477570f

Context

Epidemiology is a discipline which has evolved with the changes taking place in society and the emergence of new diseases and new discipline related to epidemiology. With these evolutions, it is important to understand epidemiology and to analyse the evolution of content of definitions of epidemiology.

Objectives

The main objective of this paper was to identify new definitions of epidemiology available since 1978. Secondary objectives were to analyse the content of these definitions, to compare them with those used by Lilienfeld and to determine whether changes have taken place over the last forty years.

Methods

A review of grey literature and published literature was conducted to find the definitions of epidemiology written between 1978 and 2017.

Results

102 definitions of epidemiology were retained. They helped to highlight 20 terms and concepts related to epidemiology. Most of them were already used in the definitions used by Lilienfeld. Five terms were present in more than 50% of definitions from the period 1978 to 2017: “population”, “study”, “disease”, “health” and “distribution”. Several developments have occurred: strengthening of the terms “control” and “health” already used, the concept of “disease” was less frequently encountered whereas the concepts “infectious diseases”, “mass phenomenon” are no longer used in definitions from 1978 to 2017.

Conclusion

This evolution of content of definition of epidemiology is absent from books on epidemiology. A thematic analysis of definitions of epidemiology could be conducted in order to improve our understanding of changes observed.

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<![CDATA[A data-driven individual-based model of infectious disease in livestock operation: A validation study for paratuberculosis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1d5b5cd5eed0c4846eb762

Chronic livestock diseases cause large financial loss and affect animal health and welfare. Controlling these diseases mostly requires precise information on both individual animal and population dynamics to inform the farmer’s decisions, but even successful control programmes do by no means assure elimination. Mathematical models provide opportunities to test different control and elimination options rather than implementing them in real herds, but these models require robust parameter estimation and validation. Fitting these models to data is a difficult task due to heterogeneities in livestock processes. In this paper, we develop an infectious disease modeling framework for a livestock disease (paratuberculosis) that is caused by Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP). Infection with MAP leads to reduced milk production, pregnancy rates, and slaughter value and increased culling rates in cattle and causes significant economic losses to the dairy industry. These economic effects are particularly important motivations in the control and elimination of MAP. In this framework, an individual-based model (IBM) of a dairy herd was built and MAP infection dynamics was integrated. Once the model produced realistic dynamics of MAP infection, we implemented an evaluation method by fitting it to data from three dairy herds from the Northeast region of the US. The model fitting exercises used least-squares and parameter space searching methods to obtain the best-fitted values of selected parameters. The best set of parameters were used to model the effect of interventions. The results show that the presented model can complement real herd statistics where the intervention strategies suggest a reduction in MAP prevalence without elimination. Overall, this research not only provides a complete model for MAP infection dynamics in a dairy herd but also offers a method for estimating parameters by fitting IBM models.

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<![CDATA[Vector competence of biting midges and mosquitoes for Shuni virus]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c141ea8d5eed0c484d27a47

Background

Shuni virus (SHUV) is an orthobunyavirus that belongs to the Simbu serogroup. SHUV was isolated from diverse species of domesticated animals and wildlife, and is associated with neurological disease, abortions, and congenital malformations. Recently, SHUV caused outbreaks among ruminants in Israel, representing the first incursions outside the African continent. The isolation of SHUV from a febrile child in Nigeria and seroprevalence among veterinarians in South Africa suggests that the virus may have zoonotic potential as well. The high pathogenicity, extremely broad tropism, potential transmission via both biting midges and mosquitoes, and zoonotic features warrants prioritization of SHUV for further research. Additional knowledge is essential to accurately determine the risk for animal and human health, and to assess the risk of future epizootics and epidemics. To gain first insights into the potential involvement of arthropod vectors in SHUV transmission, we have investigated the ability of SHUV to infect and disseminate in laboratory-reared biting midges and mosquitoes.

Methodology/Principal findings

Culicoides nubeculosus, C. sonorensis, Culex pipiens pipiens, and Aedes aegypti were orally exposed to SHUV by providing an infectious blood meal. Biting midges showed high infection rates of approximately 40–60%, whereas infection rates of mosquitoes were lower than 2%. SHUV successfully disseminated in both species of biting midges, but no evidence of transmission in orally exposed mosquitoes was found.

Conclusions/Significance

The results of this study show that different species of Culicoides biting midges are susceptible to infection and dissemination of SHUV, whereas the two mosquito species tested were found not to be susceptible.

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<![CDATA[Benefit-cost analysis of the policy of mandatory annual rabies vaccination of domestic dogs in rabies-free Japan]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c215187d5eed0c4843fa9e9

Japan is one of the few rabies-free countries/territories which implement the policy of mandatory vaccination of domestic dogs. In order to assess the economic efficiency of such policy in reducing the economic burden of a future canine rabies outbreak in Japan, a benefit-cost analysis (BCA) was performed using probabilistic decision tree modelling. Input data derived from simulation results of published mathematical model, field investigation conducted by the authors at prefectural governments, literature review, international or Japanese database and empirical data of rabies outbreaks in other countries/territories. The current study revealed that the annual costs of implementing the current vaccination policy would be US$160,472,075 (90% prediction interval [PI]: $149,268,935–171,669,974). The economic burden of a potential single canine rabies outbreak in Japan were estimated to be US$1,682,707 (90% PI: $1,180,289–2,249,283) under the current vaccination policy, while it would be US$5,019,093 (90% PI: $3,986,882–6,133,687) under hypothetical abolition of vaccination policy, which is 3-fold higher. Under a damage-avoided approach, the annual benefits of implementing the current vaccination policy in expected value were estimated to be US$85.75 (90% PI: $55.73–116.89). The benefit-cost ratio (BCR) was estimated to be 5.35 X 10−7 (90% PI: 3.46 X 10−7–7.37 X 10−7), indicating that the implementation of the current policy is very economically inefficient for the purpose of reducing the economic burden of a potential canine rabies outbreak. In worse-case scenario analysis, the BCR would become above 1 (indicating economic efficiency) if the risk of rabies introduction increased to 0.04 corresponding to a level of risk where rabies would enter Japan in 26 years while the economic burden of a rabies outbreak under the abolition of vaccination policy increased to $7.53 billion. Best-case analysis further revealed that under relatively extreme circumstances the economic efficiency of the current policy could be improved by decreasing the vaccination price charged to dog owners, relaxing the frequency of vaccination to every two to three years and implementing the policy on a smaller scale, e.g. only in targeted prefectures instead of the whole Japan.

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<![CDATA[Traces of history conserved over 600 years in the geographic distribution of genetic variants of an RNA virus: Bovine viral diarrhea virus in Switzerland]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c117b6dd5eed0c484699288

The first records of smallpox and rabies date back thousands of years and foot-and-mouth disease in cattle was described in the 16th century. These diseases stood out by their distinct signs, dramatic way of transmission from rabid dogs to humans, and sudden appearance in cattle herds. By contrast, infectious diseases that show variable signs and affect few individuals were identified only much later. Bovine viral diarrhea (BVD), endemic in cattle worldwide, was first described in 1946, together with the eponymous RNA virus as its cause. There is general agreement that BVD was not newly emerging at that time, but its history remains unknown. A search for associations between the nucleotide sequences of over 7,000 BVD viral strains obtained during a national campaign to eradicate BVD and features common to the hosts of these strains enabled us to trace back in time the presence of BVD in the Swiss cattle population. We found that animals of the two major traditional cattle breeds, Fleckvieh and Swiss Brown, were infected with strains of only four different subgenotypes of BVDV-1. The history of these cattle breeds and the events that determined the current distribution of the two populations are well documented. Specifically, Fleckvieh originates from the Bernese and Swiss Brown from the central Alps. The spread to their current geographic distribution was determined by historic events during a major expansion of the Swiss Confederation during the 15th and 16th centuries. The association of the two cattle populations with different BVD viral subgenotypes may have been preserved by a lack of cattle imports, trade barriers within the country, and unique virus-host interactions. The congruent traces of history in the distribution of the two cattle breeds and distinct viral subgenotypes suggests that BVD may have been endemic in Switzerland for at least 600 years.

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<![CDATA[A randomized controlled trial to evaluate performance of pigs raised in antibiotic-free or conventional production systems following challenge with porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c12cf73d5eed0c48491463c

The trial objective was to compare the performance and animal health parameters of pigs raised according to one of 3 antibiotic (AB) protocols: standard AB medication consisting of mass treatment on days 4 and 21 and judicious AB therapy given therapeutically thereafter as group medication in water and feed or by individual injection (group T1, N = 702); modified AB medication identical to group T1 but with mass treatment only on day 4 and without subsequent therapeutic feed medication (group T2, N = 675); or an antibiotic-free (ABF) regimen (group T3, N = 702). All pigs were vaccinated with a modified-live porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) vaccine 3 days after weaning. Using a seeder pig model to mimic endemic field infection dynamics, pigs were contact-challenged with virulent PRRSV lineage 1 strain 174 four weeks after vaccination. At finishing, average daily gain (ADG) and mean feed conversion ratio (FCR) were significantly better (p ≤ 0.05) for the T1 and T2 groups compared to the T3 group. There were no significant differences in post-weaning ADG and FCR between the T1 and T2 groups. Mortality and removals significantly favored (p ≤0.05) the T1 and T2 groups (20.94% and 24.89%, respectively) versus the T3 group (57.98%). Net revenue per pig was $105.43, $98.79, and $33.81 for the T1, T2 and T3 groups, respectively. Under the conditions of this study, these results indicate that in a PRRSV-endemic setting involving bacterial co-infections, an ABF production strategy may leave pigs at considerable risk of exposure to severe clinical disease and that judicious use of antibiotics can significantly improve animal health.

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