Simulating the impact of four control strategies on the population dynamics of Neospora caninum infection in Swiss dairy cattle

Häsler, Barbara; Stärk, Katharina D C; Sager, Heinz; Gottstein, Bruno; Reist, Martin (2006). Simulating the impact of four control strategies on the population dynamics of Neospora caninum infection in Swiss dairy cattle. Preventive veterinary medicine, 77(3-4), pp. 254-83. Amsterdam: Elsevier 10.1016/j.prevetmed.2006.07.007

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A dynamic deterministic simulation model was developed to assess the impact of different putative control strategies on the seroprevalence of Neospora caninum in female Swiss dairy cattle. The model structure comprised compartments of "susceptible" and "infected" animals (SI-model) and the cattle population was divided into 12 age classes. A reference model (Model 1) was developed to simulate the current (status quo) situation (present seroprevalence in Switzerland 12%), taking into account available demographic and seroprevalence data of Switzerland. Model 1 was modified to represent four putative control strategies: testing and culling of seropositive animals (Model 2), discontinued breeding with offspring from seropositive cows (Model 3), chemotherapeutic treatment of calves from seropositive cows (Model 4), and vaccination of susceptible and infected animals (Model 5). Models 2-4 considered different sub-scenarios with regard to the frequency of diagnostic testing. Multivariable Monte Carlo sensitivity analysis was used to assess the impact of uncertainty in input parameters. A policy of annual testing and culling of all seropositive cattle in the population reduced the seroprevalence effectively and rapidly from 12% to <1% in the first year of simulation. The control strategies with discontinued breeding with offspring from all seropositive cows, chemotherapy of calves and vaccination of all cattle reduced the prevalence more slowly than culling but were still very effective (reduction of prevalence below 2% within 11, 23 and 3 years of simulation, respectively). However, sensitivity analyses revealed that the effectiveness of these strategies depended strongly on the quality of the input parameters used, such as the horizontal and vertical transmission factors, the sensitivity of the diagnostic test and the efficacy of medication and vaccination. Finally, all models confirmed that it was not possible to completely eradicate N. caninum as long as the horizontal transmission process was not interrupted.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathobiology (DIP) > Institute of Parasitology

UniBE Contributor:

Sager, Heinz, Gottstein, Bruno


600 Technology > 630 Agriculture








Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:45

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:14

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URI: (FactScience: 874)

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