Financial Evaluation of Different Vaccination Strategies for Controlling the Bluetongue Virus Serotype 8 Epidemic in the Netherlands in 2008

A.G.J. Velthuis, M.C.M. Mourits, H.W. Saatkamp, A. de Koeijer, A.R.W. Elbers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Bluetongue (BT) is a vector-borne disease of ruminants caused by bluetongue virus that is transmitted by biting midges (Culicoides spp.). In 2006, the introduction of BTV serotype 8 (BTV-8) caused a severe epidemic in Western and Central Europe. The principal effective veterinary measure in response to BT was believed to be vaccination accompanied by other measures such as movement restrictions and surveillance. As the number of vaccine doses available at the start of the vaccination campaign was rather uncertain, the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality and the Dutch agricultural industry wanted to evaluate several different vaccination strategies. This study aimed to rank eight vaccination strategies based on their efficiency (i.e. net costs in relation to prevented losses or benefits) for controlling the bluetongue virus serotype 8 epidemic in 2008 Methodology/Principal Findings: An economic model was developed that included the Dutch professional cattle, sheep and goat sectors together with the hobby farms. Strategies were evaluated based on the least cost - highest benefit frontier, the benefit-cost ratio and the total net returns. Strategy F, where all adult sheep at professional farms in the Netherlands would be vaccinated was very efficient at lowest costs, whereas strategy D, where additional to all adult sheep at professional farms also all adult cattle in the four Northern provinces would be vaccinated, was also very efficient but at a little higher costs. Strategy C, where all adult sheep and cattle at professional farms in the whole of the Netherlands would be vaccinated was also efficient but again at higher costs. Conclusions/Significance: This study demonstrates that a financial analysis differentiates between vaccination strategies and indicates important decision rules based on efficiency
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere19612
Number of pages11
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume6
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Keywords

  • sheep
  • vaccines
  • cattle
  • field

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