Computer simulation to support policy making in the control of pseudorabies.

J.A.A.M. Buijtels, R.B.M. Huirne, A.A. Dijkhuizen, M.C.M. de Jong, A. van Nes

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9 Citations (Scopus)


A further integration of international markets makes a coordinated policy against contagious animal infections increasingly important. In the future, stricter demands are to be expected concerning the control and eradication of such infections. To anticipate these demands, a computer simulation model is created in which scenarios can be evaluated with respect to epidemiological and economic effects of the infections and control strategies. In this paper, the simulation model is described for Pseudorabies in swine. In the model, the population of herds is subdivided into two main herd types: breeding and finishing. Each herd is in one of 24 states per herd type. The states are based on (1) the reproduction ratio R which is the number of secondary cases caused by one infectious herd, (2) the prevalence for each value of R and (3) the expected number of infectious animals in an infectious herd within each prevalence range and for each R. The different values of R are based on experiments and field data in which different vaccination strategies were used. The transition matrix with the probabilisties of every transition from one state to another is calculated on a weekly base. With this matrix the distribution of herds over states from week to week is derived. To include a dynamic element in the transition probabilities, the number of newly infectious herds per week is a function of animal and other contacts, including aerial, material and personal contacts. Calculations show that the infection in the Dutch swine population will not disappear without vaccination. With a vaccination scheme in which sows are vaccinated 3 times per year and fattening pigs 1 time per cycle the infection will ultimately be eradicated, but 2 vaccinations per cycle for fattening pigs are needed to eradicate the infection within an acceptable timespan (i.e. 2 to 3 years). The latter strategy will become compulsory in the Netherlands from October 1st 1995.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-185
JournalVeterinary Microbiology
Publication statusPublished - 1997


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