Now showing 1 - 10 of 13
  • Publication
    Ireland Red List No. 2 : Non-marine molluscs
    (National Parks and Wildlife Service, Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, 2009) ; ; ; ;
    Based on almost 80,000 records for Ireland, 150 native species of non-marine mollusc are evaluated for their conservation status using International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) criteria (IUCN, 2001, 2003). Two are considered to be regionally extinct, five critically endangered, fourteen endangered, twenty-six vulnerable, six near threatened, and the rest of least concern, or data deficient. Ireland’s non-marine molluscan fauna is of international importance. Ten species have populations of significant international worth, having large proportions of their global population in Ireland. Ashfordia granulata and Leisotyla anglica are two examples of such species; both are near endemics to Britain and Ireland, with Ireland having at least a fifth of their global populations. Seven species have been listed on the global IUCN red list, for example Myxas glutinosa and Quickella arenaria, both of which are endangered species in Ireland. Six species are legally protected under European legislation. Of these legally protected species, only the Kerry slug, Geomalacus maculosus, is not considered threatened in Ireland. However, the Irish population of this species is of particular international importance as the species is restricted to south-west Ireland and northern Iberia, and the Iberian populations are severely threatened. Some species are rare in Ireland as they are at the edge of their range or climatic tolerances (e.g. Pomatias elegans). For species that are declining in Ireland there are multiple drivers of population loss. Species declines are primarily driven by habitat loss (e.g. loss of marginal agricultural wetlands through drainage impacting species such as Vertigo antivertigo), habitat change (e.g. reduced water quality impacting species such as Pisidium pseudosphaerium and Margaritifera margaritifera) and habitat management (e.g. woodland management practices impacting species such as Spermodea lamellata). To a lesser extent species may be declining due to climate change (e.g. Pisidium conventus, a cold, deep water, montane species) and the impact of invasive species (Anodonta cygnea and A. anatina, the swan and duck mussels, are being severely impacted by the invasive species Dreissena polymorpha, the zebra mussel). The importance of water quality and the reduction of habitat loss and change across a spectrum of habitats are identified as important components in conserving the non-marine molluscan fauna on the island of Ireland.
  • Publication
    Reflecting on One Health in Action During the COVID-19 Response
    The COVID-19 pandemic, a singular disruptive event in recent human history, has required rapid, innovative, coordinated and collaborative approaches to manage and ameliorate its worst impacts. However, the threat remains, and learning from initial efforts may benefit the response management in the future. One Health approaches to managing health challenges through multi-stakeholder engagement are underscored by an enabling environment. Here we describe three case studies from state (New South Wales, Australia), national (Ireland), and international (sub-Saharan Africa) scales which illustrate different aspects of One Health in action in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In Ireland, a One Health team was assembled to help parameterise complex mathematical and resource models. In New South Wales, state authorities engaged collaboratively with animal health veterinarians and epidemiologists to leverage disease outbreak knowledge, expertise and technical and support structures for application to the COVID-19 emergency. The African One Health University Network linked members from health institutions and universities from eight countries to provide a virtual platform knowledge exchange on COVID-19 to support the response. Themes common to successful experiences included a shared resource base, interdisciplinary engagement, communication network strategies, and looking global to address local need. The One Health approaches used, particularly shared responsibility and knowledge integration, are benefiting the management of this pandemic and future One Health global challenges.
      305Scopus© Citations 16
  • Publication
    Inferred duration of infectious period of SARS-CoV-2: rapid scoping review and analysis of available evidence for asymptomatic and symptomatic COVID-19 cases
    Objectives. Our objective was to review the literature on the inferred duration of the infectious period of COVID-19, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus, and provide an overview of the variation depending on the methodological approach. Design. Rapid scoping review. Literature review with fixed search terms, up to 1 April 2020. Central tendency and variation of the parameter estimates for infectious period in (A) asymptomatic and (B) symptomatic cases from (1) virological studies (repeated testing), (2) tracing studies and (3) modelling studies were gathered. Narrative review of viral dynamics. Information sources. Search strategies developed and the following searched: PubMed, Google Scholar, MedRxiv and BioRxiv. Additionally, the Health Information Quality Authority (Ireland) viral load synthesis was used, which screened literature from PubMed, Embase, ScienceDirect, NHS evidence, Cochrane, medRxiv and bioRxiv, and HRB open databases. Results. There was substantial variation in the estimates, and how infectious period was inferred. One study provided approximate median infectious period for asymptomatic cases of 6.5–9.5 days. Median presymptomatic infectious period across studies varied over <1–4 days. Estimated mean time from symptom onset to two negative RT-PCR tests was 13.4 days (95% CI 10.9 to 15.8) but was shorter when studies included children or less severe cases. Estimated mean duration from symptom onset to hospital discharge or death (potential maximal infectious period) was 18.1 days (95% CI 15.1 to 21.0); time to discharge was on average 4 days shorter than time to death. Viral dynamic data and model infectious parameters were often shorter than repeated diagnostic data. Conclusions. There are limitations of inferring infectiousness from repeated diagnosis, viral loads and viral replication data alone and also potential patient recall bias relevant to estimating exposure and symptom onset times. Despite this, available data provide a preliminary evidence base to inform models of central tendency for key parameters and variation for exploring parameter space and sensitivity analysis.
      386Scopus© Citations 199
  • Publication
    Risk of tuberculosis cattle herd breakdowns in Ireland: effects of badger culling effort, density and historic large-scale interventions
    Bovine tuberculosis (bTB) continues to be a problem in cattle herds in Ireland and Britain. It has been suggested that failure to eradicate this disease is related to the presence of a wildlife reservoir (the badger). A large-scale project was undertaken in the Republic of Ireland during 1997–2002 to assess whether badger removal could contribute to reducing risk of cattle herd breakdowns in four areas. During the period of that 'four area' study, there was a significant decrease in risk in intensively culled (removal) areas relative to reference areas. In the present study, we revisit these areas to assess if there were any residual area effects of this former intervention a decade on (2007–2012). Over the study period there was an overall declining trend in bTB breakdown risk to cattle herds. Cattle herds within former removal areas experienced significantly reduced risk of breakdown relative to herds within former reference areas or herds within non-treatment areas (OR: 0.53; P < 0.001). Increased herd breakdown risk was associated with increasing herd size (OR: 1.92-2.03; P < 0.001) and herd bTB history (OR: 2.25-2.40; P < 0.001). There was increased risk of herd breakdowns in areas with higher badger densities, but this association was only significant early in the study (PD*YEAR interaction; P < 0.001). Badgers were culled in areas with higher cattle bTB risk (targeted culling). Risk tended to decline with cumulative culling effort only in three counties, but increased in the fourth (Donegal). Culling badgers is not seen as a viable long-term strategy. However, mixed policy options with biosecurity and badger vaccination, may help in managing cattle breakdown risk.
      395Scopus© Citations 43
  • Publication
    Inferring bovine tuberculosis transmission between cattle and badgers via the environment and risk mapping
    Bovine tuberculosis (bTB), caused by Mycobacterium bovis, is one of the most challenging and persistent health issues in many countries worldwide. In several countries, bTB control is complicated due to the presence of wildlife reservoirs of infection, i.e. European badger (Meles meles) in Ireland and the UK, which can transmit infection to cattle. However, a quantitative understanding of the role of cattle and badgers in bTB transmission is elusive, especially where there is spatial variation in relative density between badgers and cattle. Moreover, as these two species have infrequent direct contact, environmental transmission is likely to play a role, but the quantitative importance of the environment has not been assessed. Therefore, the objective of this study is to better understand bTB transmission between cattle and badgers via the environment in a spatially explicit context and to identify high-risk areas. We developed an environmental transmission model that incorporates both within-herd/territory transmission and between-species transmission, with the latter facilitated by badger territories overlapping with herd areas. Model parameters such as transmission rate parameters and the decay rate parameter of M. bovis were estimated by maximum likelihood estimation using infection data from badgers and cattle collected during a 4-year badger vaccination trial. Our estimation showed that the environment can play an important role in the transmission of bTB, with a half-life of M. bovis in the environment of around 177 days. Based on the estimated transmission rate parameters, we calculate the basic reproduction ratio (R) within a herd, which reveals how relative badger density dictates transmission. In addition, we simulated transmission in each small local area to generate a first between-herd R map that identifies high-risk areas.
      27Scopus© Citations 1
  • Publication
    Regional red list of Irish bees
    (National Parks and Wildlife Service (Ireland) and Environment and Heritage Service (N. Ireland), 2006) ; ; ; ;
    In 2003 the Higher Education Authority awarded funding for a three year project on the conservation of native Irish bees under their North-South programme for collaborative research. This work was undertaken by Dr. Úna Fitzpatrick and Dr. Mark Brown in the School of Natural Sciences, Trinity College Dublin and by Mr. Tomás Murray and Dr. Rob Paxton in the School of School of Biological Sciences, Queen’s University Belfast. One important element of this research has been the documentation of the conservation status of native bees in Ireland. A three-step sequential process has been used to document the status of each of the native species, indicate the conservation action required, and highlight those species of most importance from a conservation perspective: (1) Identification of the threatened species using internationally recognized methodology - production of an IUCN regional red list for the island of Ireland. (2) Documentation of the total conservation actions required for the assessed group - completed IUCN conservation action authority files for threatened, near threatened and data deficient species. (3) Conversion from the regional red list to a national list of conservation priority species This summary report contains the Regional Red List of Irish bees, IUCN conservation actions authority files for all threatened, near threatened and data deficient species in the red list, and a list of national conservation priority species.
  • Publication
    COVID-19 epidemiological parameters summary document
    In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group (IEMAG) for COVID-19 was established to assist the Irish National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) in their decision-making during the pandemic. A subcommittee from IEMAG (the epidemiological parameters team) was tasked with researching the various parameters, leading to the development of a series of synthesis documents relevant to the parameterisation of a COVID-19 transmission model for Ireland. These parameters include: • R0/R • Latent period & relative importance of pre-symptomatic period • Incubation period • Generation time & serial interval • Proportion of infected who are asymptomatic, by age • Length of infectious period in asymptomatic people and in symptomatic people who do not isolate • Time from onset of symptoms to diagnosis/test results and to hospitalisation • Length of hospital stay and admission to ICUs • Relative infectiousness of asymptomatic versus symptomatic infected people. The current document presents an up-to-date summary of these synthesis documents. A further synthesis document on age-related susceptibility and age-related infectiousness is in preparation.
  • Publication
    Presymptomatic transmission of SARS-CoV-2 infection: a secondary analysis using published data
    Objective To estimate the proportion of presymptomatic transmission of SARS-CoV-2 infection that can occur, and the timing of transmission relative to symptom onset.Setting/design Secondary analysis of international published data.Data sources Meta-analysis of COVID-19 incubation period and a rapid review of serial interval and generation time, which are published separately.Participants Data from China, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Italy, Republic of Korea, Singapore and Vietnam from December 2019 to May 2020.Methods Simulations were generated of incubation period and of serial interval or generation time. From these, transmission times relative to symptom onset, and the proportion of presymptomatic transmission, were estimated.Outcome measures Transmission time of SARS-CoV-2 relative to symptom onset and proportion of presymptomatic transmission.Results Based on 18 serial interval/generation time estimates from 15 papers, mean transmission time relative to symptom onset ranged from −2.6 (95% CI −3.0 to –2.1) days before infector symptom onset to 1.4 (95% CI 1.0 to 1.8) days after symptom onset. The proportion of presymptomatic transmission ranged from 45.9% (95% CI 42.9% to 49.0%) to 69.1% (95% CI 66.2% to 71.9%).Conclusions There is substantial potential for presymptomatic transmission of SARS-CoV-2 across a range of different contexts. This highlights the need for rapid case detection, contact tracing and quarantine. The transmission patterns that we report reflect the combination of biological infectiousness and transmission opportunities which vary according to context.
      346Scopus© Citations 27
  • Publication
    Rapid review of available evidence on the serial interval and generation time of COVID-19
    The serial interval is the time between symptom onsets in an infector–infectee pair. The generation time, also known as the generation interval, is the time between infection events in an infector–infectee pair. The serial interval and the generation time are key parameters for assessing the dynamics of a disease. A number of scientific papers reported information pertaining to the serial interval and/or generation time for COVID-19.
      322Scopus© Citations 59
  • Publication
    The ecology of the European badger (Meles meles) in Ireland - a review
    The badger is an ecologically and economically important species. Detailed knowledge of aspects of the ecology of this animal in Ireland has only emerged through research over recent decades. Here, we review what is known about the species’ Irish populations and compare these findings with populations in Britain and Europe. Like populations elsewhere, setts are preferentially constructed on south or southeast facing sloping ground in well-drained soil types. Unlike in Britain, Irish badger main setts are less complex and most commonly found in hedgerows. Badgers utilise many habitat types, but greater badger densities have been associated with landscapes with high proportions of pasture and broadleaf woodlands. Badgers in Ireland tend to have seasonally varied diets, with less dependence on earthworms than some other populations in northwest Europe. Recent research suggests that females exhibit later onset and timing of reproductive events, smaller litter sizes and lower loss of blastocysts than populations studied in Britain. Adult social groups in Ireland tend to be smaller than in Britain, though significantly larger than social groups from continental Europe. Although progress has been made in estimating the distribution and density of badger populations, national population estimates have varied widely in the Republic of Ireland. Future research should concentrate on filling gaps in our knowledge, including population models and predictive spatial modelling that will contribute to vaccine delivery, management and conservation strategies.
      1520Scopus© Citations 51