Estimating the transmission parameters of foot-and-mouth disease in Vietnam: A spatial-dynamic kernel-based model with outbreak and host data

Huong Do, Hoa Nguyen, Van Pham, Tom Kompas, Ky Dang Van, Long Chu

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    Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) affects cloven-hoofed livestock and causes devastating damages to the world's economies. Being endemic in developing countries, FMD has imposed a significant threat to the FMD-freedom status in developed countries. The globally-concerted effort to eradicate FMD at its source has faced a substantial challenge of having little knowledge about how FMD spreads in developing countries. So far, FMD virus transmission parameters have been estimated based on only a dozen actual outbreak data, mostly in Europe. Meanwhile, the fundamental north-south differences in livestock production, trading, and quarantine systems have questioned the applicability of these estimates to developing countries. In this light, we aim to narrow the knowledge gap by estimating the FMD virus transmission parameters in an endemic country, Vietnam, the world's fifth- largest pork producer. We use the spatial-dynamic kernel-based approach combined with daily FMD incursion data and FMD-host census data. The estimation also considers livestock composition and livestock quantity by species, which can influence FMD transmission. In line with existing literature, we find that cattle and buffaloes have a larger influence on disease spread than pigs, and FMD transmission depends on the herd size and the distance between susceptible and infected premises. However, our findings show FMD virus can spread over a much more ample space in our case compared with those in existing literature (25 km and 50 km versus 10 km), and the kernels have much fatter tails. This difference is likely due to the weakness in biosecurity systems, poor implementation of surveillance and quarantine measures, and bad husbandry practices such as swill feeding, which are prevalent in developing countries. Thus, our estimated kernels will be helpful for Vietnam in developing suitable biosecurity measures to contain and eradicate the FMD virus. They are also highly relevant for other countries with livestock farming practices and climate conditions similar to those in Vietnam.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalPreventive Veterinary Medicine
    Publication statusPublished - 2022


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