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- PublicationCan biosecurity and local network properties predict pathogen species richness in the salmonid industry?Salmonid farming in Ireland is mostly organic, which implies limited disease treatment options. This highlights the importance of biosecurity for preventing the introduction and spread of infectious agents. Similarly, the effect of local network properties on infection spread processes has rarely been evaluated. In this paper, we characterized the biosecurity of salmonid farms in Ireland using a survey, and then developed a score for benchmarking the disease risk of salmonid farms. The usefulness and validity of this score, together with farm indegree (dichotomized as 1 or > 1), were assessed through generalized Poisson regression models, in which the modeled outcome was pathogen richness, defined here as the number of different diseases affecting a farm during a year. Seawater salmon (SW salmon) farms had the highest biosecurity scores with a median (interquartile range) of 82.3 (5.4), followed by freshwater salmon (FW salmon) with 75.2 (8.2), and freshwater trout (FW trout) farms with 74.8 (4.5). For FW salmon and trout farms, the top ranked model (in terms of leave-one-out information criteria, looic) was the null model (looic = 46.1). For SW salmon farms, the best ranking model was the full model with both predictors and their interaction (looic = 33.3). Farms with a higher biosecurity score were associated with lower pathogen richness, and farms with indegree > 1 (i.e. more than one fish supplier) were associated with increased pathogen richness. The effect of the interaction between these variables was also important, showing an antagonistic effect. This would indicate that biosecurity effectiveness is achieved through a broader perspective on the subject, which includes a minimization in the number of suppliers and hence in the possibilities for infection to enter a farm. The work presented here could be used to elaborate indicators of a farm’s disease risk based on its biosecurity score and indegree, to inform risk-based disease surveillance and control strategies for private and public stakeholders.
219Scopus© Citations 3
- PublicationData-Driven Network Modeling as a Framework to Evaluate the Transmission of Piscine Myocarditis Virus (PMCV) in the Irish Farmed Atlantic Salmon Population and the Impact of Different Mitigation MeasuresCardiomyopathy syndrome (CMS) is a severe cardiac disease of Atlantic salmon caused by the piscine myocarditis virus (PMCV), which was first reported in Ireland in 2012. In this paper, we describe the use of data-driven network modeling as a framework to evaluate the transmission of PMCV in the Irish farmed Atlantic salmon population and the impact of different mitigation measures. Input data included live fish movement data from 2009 to 2017, population dynamics events and the spatial location of the farms. With these inputs, we fitted a network-based stochastic infection spread model. After assumed initial introduction of the agent in 2009, our results indicate that it took 5 years to reach a between-farm prevalence of 100% in late 2014, with older fish being most affected. Local spread accounted for only a small proportion of new infections, being more important for sustained infection in a given area. Spread via movement of subclinically infected fish was most important for explaining the observed countrywide spread of the agent. Of the targeted intervention strategies evaluated, the most effective were those that target those fish farms in Ireland that can be considered the most connected, based on the number of farm-to-farm linkages in a specific time period through outward fish movements. The application of these interventions in a proactive way (before the first reported outbreak of the disease in 2012), assuming an active testing of fish consignments to and from the top 8 ranked farms in terms of outward fish movement, would have yielded the most protection for the Irish salmon farming industry. Using this approach, the between-farm PMCV prevalence never exceeded 20% throughout the simulation time (as opposed to the simulated 100% when no interventions are applied). We argue that the Irish salmon farming industry would benefit from this approach in the future, as it would help in early detection and prevention of the spread of viral agents currently exotic to the country.
Scopus© Citations 2 242