2023 journal article

Estimating the effectiveness of control actions on African swine fever transmission in commercial swine populations in the United States

Preventive Veterinary Medicine.

UN Sustainable Development Goal Categories
Source: ORCID
Added: June 13, 2023

Given the proximity of African swine fever (ASF) to the U.S., there is an urgent need to better understand the possible dissemination pathways of the virus within the U.S. swine industry and to evaluate mitigation strategies. Here, we extended PigSpread, a farm-level spatially-explicit stochastic compartmental transmission model incorporating six transmission routes including between-farm swine movements, vehicle movements, and local spread, to model the dissemination of ASF. We then examined the effectiveness of control actions similar to the ASF national response plan. The average number of secondary infections during the first 60 days of the outbreak was 49 finisher farms, 17 nursery farms, 5 sow farms, and less than one farm in other production types. The between-farm movements of swine were the predominant route of ASF transmission with an average contribution of 71.1%, while local spread and movement of vehicles were less critical with average contributions of 14.6% and 14.4%. We demonstrated that the combination of quarantine, depopulation, movement restrictions, contact tracing, and enhanced surveillance, was the most effective mitigation strategy, resulting in an average reduction of 79.0% of secondary cases by day 140 of the outbreak. Implementing these control actions led to a median of 495,619 depopulated animals, 357,789 diagnostic tests, and 54,522 movement permits. Our results suggest that the successful elimination of an ASF outbreak is likely to require the deployment of all control actions listed in the ASF national response plan for more than 140 days, as well as estimating the resources needed for depopulation, testing, and movement permits under these controls.