This paper presents an economic analysis of Q fever control strategies in dairy goat herds in The Netherlands. Evaluated control strategies involved vaccination strategies (being either preventive or reactive) and reactive non-vaccination strategies (i.e., culling or breeding prohibition). Reactive strategies were initiated after PCR positive bulk tank milk or after an abortion storm (abortion percentage in the herd of 5% or more). Preventive vaccination eradicates Q fever in a herd on average within 2 and 7 years (depending on breeding style and vaccination strategy). Economic outcomes reveal that preventive vaccination is always the preferred Q fever control strategy on infected farms and this even holds for a partial analysis if only on-farm costs and benefits are accounted for and human health costs are ignored. Averted human health costs depend to a large extend on the number of infected human cases per infected farm or animal. Much is yet unknown with respect to goat-human transmission rates. When the pathogen is absent in both livestock and farm environment then the "freedom of Q fever disease" is achieved. This would enable a return to non-vaccinated herds but more insight is required with respect to the mechanisms and probability of re-infection.
- Economic analysis
- Q fever