Amplification of the basic reproduction number in cattle farm networks.

Vidondo, Beatriz (2018). Amplification of the basic reproduction number in cattle farm networks. PLoS ONE, 13(4), e0191257. Public Library of Science 10.1371/journal.pone.0191257

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The popularly known 20-80 rule or Pareto rule states that 20% of efforts leads to 80% of results. This rule has been applied to the study of infection transmission in contact networks, and specifically, contact networks between cattle farms. Woolhouse and collaborators showed that targeting interventions for disease control and prevention to the 20% of the farms that contribute the most to the basic reproduction number (Ro), could reduce it by 80%. The rule results from the number of incoming and outgoing contacts per farm being highly heterogeneous. Besides, Woolhouse and collaborators showed that this high contact heterogeneity, together with a high positive correlation between the number of incoming and outgoing animal movements per farm leads to an amplification in the Ro. Two previous studies carried out with Scottish cattle transport data found either no correlation or only a weak correlation (rho up to 0.33) when using weighted data. Using data from the contacts between Swiss cattle farms in 2015, we found that the 20-80 rule applies with respect to Ro, although the proportion of highly active farms is smaller (11%). Besides, a positive strong correlation (rho = 0.64, weighted data) between the incoming and outgoing contacts of farms exists. This means that the amplification of Ro (due to the contact heterogeneities and the existing correlation) in cattle contact networks can be much higher than known until now. Our results highlight the importance of an effective active surveillance, more so than in other countries were these amplification mechanisms are absent.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH) > Veterinary Public Health Institute

UniBE Contributor:

Vidondo Curras, Beatriz Teresa


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 360 Social problems & social services
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Public Library of Science




Susanne Agnes Lerch

Date Deposited:

09 May 2018 11:58

Last Modified:

02 Mar 2023 23:30

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:





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