Process & Systems Modelling

Modelling the control of paratuberculosis in rabbits

Rabbits have recently been identified as a key wildlife species in terms of paratuberculosis (Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis), a widespread infection which is difficult to control in livestock populations and which has possible links to Crohn’s disease in humans. A spatially explicit stochastic simulation model, built in collaboration with SAC and parameterised from empirical studies, shows that unrealistically high rabbit culls (>95% population reduction) are needed to achieve a high probability of eradication of the disease from a local rabbit populations with a single, one-off, cull. However, the model also quantifies the extent to which lower, more realistic, annual cull rates can lead to eradication if repeated over many years.

Histogram of p-values Estimated probabilities of eradication of paratuberculosis from a rabbit population as a function of time after commencement of repeated annual culls of 40%, 45% and 50% of animals present.

Further details from: Ross Davidson

Article date 2009


Statistical Genomics and Bioinformatics

Process and Systems Modelling

Statistical Methodology

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