Disease transmission in animal transfer networks

Sintayehu Dejene*, H.H.T. Prins, I.M.A. Heitkönig, W.F. de Boer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Infectious diseases transmission is strongly determined by who contacts whom. Bovine tuberculosis (bTB) caused by Mycobacterium bovis is a worldwide burden for animal populations. One of the major transmission mechanism between herd is the transfer of infectious animal. In East Africa, pastoralists may receive or bestow livestock to create and strengthen social relationships. Here, we used a network approach to examine the relative importance of such cattle transfer in the transmission of bTB. First, a total of 2550 cattle from 102 herds were tested using the comparative intradermal tuberculin test to assess the presence of bTB infected cattle in the herd. A herd was considered bTB positive if it had at least one tuberculin reactor animal. Next, we calculated the centrality of each herd in the cattle transfer network using four established measures of social network centralization: degree, betweenness, closeness and fragmentation. The relationships between the network centrality measures and bTB infection were examined using generalized linear mixed models (GLMM). We found that a herd's in-degree in the social network was positively correlated with the risk of being infected with bTB (b = 4.2, 95%CI = 2.1–5.7; p
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-42
JournalPreventive Veterinary Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Betweenness
  • Closeness
  • Fragmentation index
  • In-degree
  • Livestock transfer


Dive into the research topics of 'Disease transmission in animal transfer networks'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this