Document details for 'Generative models of network dynamics provide insight into the effects of trade on endemic livestock disease'

Authors Knight, M.A., White, P.C.L., Hutchings, M.R., Davidson, R.S. and Marion, G.
Publication details Royal Society Open Science 8, 201715. Royal Society Publshing.
Publisher details Royal Society Publshing
Keywords Basic reproduction number, livestock trading, heterogeneity, endemic disease, generative modelling
Abstract We develop and apply analytically tractable generative models of livestock movements at national scale. These go beyond current models through mechanistic modelling of heterogeneous trade partnership network dynamics and the trade events that occur on them. Linking resulting animal movements to disease transmission between farms yields analytical expressions for the basic reproduction number R0. We show how these novel modelling tools enable systems approaches to disease control, using R0 to explore impacts of changes in trading practices on between-farm prevalence levels. Using the Scottish cattle trade network as a case study, we show our approach captures critical complexities of real-world trade networks at the national scale for a broad range of endemic diseases. Changes in trading patterns that minimise disruption to business by maintaining in-flow of animals for each individual farm reduce R0, with the largest reductions for diseases that are most challenging to eradicate. Incentivising high-risk farms to adopt such changes exploits `scale-free' properties of the system and is likely to be particularly effective in reducing national livestock disease burden and incursion risk. Encouragingly, gains made by such targeted modifcation of trade practices scale much more favourably than comparably targeted improvements to more commonly adopted farm-level biosecurity.
Last updated 2021-03-18

Unless explicitly stated otherwise, all material is copyright © Biomathematics and Statistics Scotland.

Biomathematics and Statistics Scotland (BioSS) is formally part of The James Hutton Institute (JHI), a registered Scottish charity No. SC041796 and a company limited by guarantee No. SC374831. Registered Office: JHI, Invergowrie, Dundee, DD2 5DA, Scotland