Epidemiological and economic assessment of different control and surveillance strategies for bovine tuberculosis in Uruguay

Project: PhD

Project Details


BACKGROUND Bovine tuberculosis (bTB) is a disease under an official program in Uruguay. It is an infectious, zoonotic, and chronic disease, traditionally associated with dairies and with low prevalence. The changes in its presentation force us to update and readapt the sanitary program to the current conditions. The impacts of this disease are very difficult to estimate and include not only economic losses but also compromise animal health and welfare. The economic impact will depend on the epidemiology of the disease, the control measures applied, and the structure of the production system. Mathematical models will be used to assess alternative interventions in the disease control program. This approach will integrate the spread, effects, and economic consequences of the disease under different scenarios and strategies. The use of efficient surveillance and eradication strategies in the TB program may reduce the economic impact with important consequences at the farm and regional level. PROJECT OBJECTIVE: The project focuses on the assessment of the economic impact of different risk-based surveillance and eradication strategies at the farm level for bTB in Uruguay. The aim is also to generate knowledge that enriches the epidemiology of the bTB in Uruguay, which will provide valuable information to assess, evaluate and improve overall decision making related to the bTB program. Specific objectives are the characterization of the farms by herd type and check if these variables are associated with the risk of getting infected with bTB. Define different scenarios for the introduction of bTB and set different risk-based surveillance and eradication strategies for bTB, based on the farm characterization. Assess the epidemiological results of these different risk-based surveillance and eradication strategies. Evaluate the economic impact of these strategies, so as to determine the more cost-effectiveness strategy based on the farm characterization. RESEARCH STRATEGY The official veterinary service has a complete dataset about the locations and general characteristics of each farm in Uruguay. In addition, data on cattle movements, historical information about the bTB outbreaks, and the results of the tuberculin tests are available. A mathematical model that integrates transmission within and between herds will be used for the simulation of the spread of bTB in Uruguay. A stochastic compartmental model SORI type will be used. Transmission will be simulated for the different scenarios and different control strategies will be compared to the strategy that is currently being applied. The epidemiological and economic outputs will be assessed based on the farm characterization. -Characterization of the farms will be done based on the identification of factors associated with the risk of getting infected with bTB in Uruguay. -Disease transmission will be simulated for 10 years, based on hypothetical scenarios and strategies in our country. Parameters of the model will be taken from the literature. -The epidemiological outcomes of the model for each scenario and strategy will be compared to the current control strategy (status quo). -The different alternatives will be economically evaluated based on the attributable costs. -Finally, the strategies analyzed will be ranked according to the cost-effective analysis for each type of farm.
Effective start/end date15/04/24 → …


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