2022 journal article

Modelling and assessing additional transmission routes for porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus: Vehicle movements and feed ingredients

Transboundary and Emerging Diseases.

author keywords: animal by-product; contact networks; PRRSV transmission; swine disease dynamics; swine disease transmission; truck
MeSH headings : Animal Husbandry / methods; Animals; Biological Products; Female; Minerals; Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome / epidemiology; Porcine respiratory and reproductive syndrome virus; Swine; Swine Diseases
Source: ORCID
Added: February 22, 2022

Accounting for multiple modes of livestock disease dissemination in epidemiological models remains a challenge. We developed and calibrated a mathematical model for transmission of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV), tailored to fit nine modes of between-farm transmission pathways including: farm-to-farm proximity (local transmission), contact network of batches of pigs transferred between farms (pig movements), re-break probabilities for farms with previous PRRSV outbreaks, with the addition of four different contact networks of transportation vehicles (vehicles to transport pigs to farms, pigs to markets, feed and crew) and the amount of animal by-products within feed ingredients (e.g., animal fat or meat and bone meal). The model was calibrated on weekly PRRSV outbreaks data. We assessed the role of each transmission pathway considering the dynamics of specific types of production (i.e., sow, nursery). Although our results estimated that the networks formed by transportation vehicles were more densely connected than the network of pigs transported between farms, pig movements and farm proximity were the main PRRSV transmission routes regardless of farm types. Among the four vehicle networks, vehicles transporting pigs to farms explained a large proportion of infections, sow = 20.9%; nursery = 15%; and finisher = 20.6%. The animal by-products showed a limited association with PRRSV outbreaks through descriptive analysis, and our model results showed that the contribution of animal fat contributed only 2.5% and meat and bone meal only .03% of the infected sow farms. Our work demonstrated the contribution of multiple routes of PRRSV dissemination, which has not been deeply explored before. It also provides strong evidence to support the need for cautious, measured PRRSV control strategies for transportation vehicles and further research for feed by-products modelling. Finally, this study provides valuable information and opportunities for the swine industry to focus effort on the most relevant modes of PRRSV between-farm transmission.