Swine brucellosis caused by Brucella suis biovar 2 is an emerging disease in continental Europe. Without effective vaccines being available, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recommends the full depopulation of infected herds as the only strategy to eradicate B. suis outbreaks. Using data collected from 8 herds suffering natural swine brucellosis outbreaks, we assessed the efficacy of four control strategies: (i) oxytetracycline treatment only, as a default scenario, (ii) oxytetracycline treatment combined with skin testing and removal of positive animals, (iii) oxytetracycline treatment combined with serological testing (Rose Bengal test-RBT-and indirect ELISA -iELISA-) and removal of seropositive animals and (iv) oxytetracycline treatment combined with both serological (RBT/iELISA) and skin testing and removal of positive animals. A Susceptible-Infectious-Removal model was used to estimate the reproduction ratio (R) for each strategy. According to this model, the oxytetracycline treatment alone was not effective enough to eradicate the infection. However, this antibiotic treatment combined with diagnostic testing at 4-monthly intervals plus immediate removal of positive animals showed to be effective to eradicate brucellosis independent of the diagnostic test strategy used in an acceptable time interval (1-2 years), depending on the initial number of infected animals.
- Brucella suis
- Reproduction ratio