Now showing 1 - 10 of 43
  • Publication
    An all-island approach to mapping bovine tuberculosis in Ireland
    (Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.), 2009) ; ; ;
    This study used techniques in Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to explore the spatial patterns of bovine tuberculosis (TB) in the whole island of Ireland over an 11-year period. This is the first time that data pertaining to TB from the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland have been collated and examined in an all-Ireland context. The analyses were based on 198, 156 point locations representing active farms with cattle in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland between the years 1996 and 2006. The results consist of a series of maps giving a visual representation of cattle populations and associated detected bTB levels on the island of Ireland over this time interval.
      411Scopus© Citations 13
  • Publication
    Changing epidemiology of the tick-borne bovine parasite, Babesia divergens
    Bovine babesiosis is caused by the tick-borne blood parasite, Babesia divergens. A survey of veterinary practitioners and farmers in Ireland in the 1980’s revealed an annual incidence of 1.7% associated with considerable economic losses. However, two subsequent surveys in the 1990’s indicated a decline in clinical babesiosis. In order to determine whether any such changes have affected the incidence of bovine babesiosis in Ireland, a questionnaire survey of farmers and veterinarians was carried out and compared against data from previous surveys.
  • Publication
    The Four Area Badger Study: a progress report, 1997
    (University College Dublin. Centre for Veterinary Epidemiology and Risk Analysis, 1998-09) ; ; ; ;
  • Publication
    Development of a GIS-independent herd contiguity identification application
    (University College Dublin. Centre for Veterinary Epidemiology and Risk Analysis, 2002-06) ; ; ;
  • 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.
      397Scopus© Citations 43
  • Publication
    Trends and predictors of large tuberculosis episodes in cattle herds in Ireland
    Persistence of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) in cattle is an important feature of Mycobacterium bovis infection, presenting either as herd recurrence or local persistence. One risk factor associated with the risk of recurrent episodes is the severity of a previous bTB episode (severity reflecting the number of bTB reactors identified during the episode). In this study, we have sought to identify predictors that can distinguish between small (less severe) and large (more severe) bTB episodes, and to describe nationally the severity of bTB episodes over time. The study included descriptive statistics of the proportion of episodes by severity from 2004 to 2015 and a case-control study. The case-control study population included all herds with at least one episode beginning in 2014 or 2015, with at least two full herd tests during the episode and a minimum herd-size of 60 animals. Case herds included study herds with at least 13 reactors whereas control herds had between 2 to 4 (inclusive) reactors during the first 2 tests of the episode. A logistic regression model was developed to identify risk factors associated with a large episode. Although there has been a general trend towards less severe herd bTB episodes in Ireland over time (2004-2015), the proportion of large episodes has remained relatively consistent. From the case-control study, the main predictors of a large episode were the year the episode started, increasing herd-size, previous exposure to bTB, increasing bTB incidence in the local area, an animal with a bTB lesion and a bTB episode in an associated herd. Herds that introduced more animals were more likely to have a smaller bTB episode, reflecting the reduced risk of within-herd transmission when an episode was due to an introduced infected bTB animal. Some of the risk factors identified in this study such as reactors in previous bTB episodes, herds with an associated herd undergoing a bTB episode, herds in high incidence areas etc. may help to target future policy measures to specific herds or animals for additional surveillance measures. This information has important policy implications.
      306Scopus© Citations 11
  • Publication
    Seroprevalence of Mycoplasma bovis in bulk milk samples in Irish dairy herds and risk factors associated with herd seropositive status
    Mycoplasma bovis is a serious disease of cattle worldwide; mastitis, pneumonia, and arthritis are particularly important clinical presentations in dairy herds. Mycoplasma bovis was first identified in Ireland in 1994, and the reporting of Mycoplasma-associated disease has substantially increased over the last 5 years. Despite the presumed endemic nature of M. bovis in Ireland, there is a paucity of data on the prevalence of infection, and the effect of this disease on the dairy industry. The aim of this observational study was to estimate apparent herd prevalence for M. bovis in Irish dairy herds using routinely collected bulk milk surveillance samples and to assess risk factors for herd seropositivity. In autumn 2018, 1,500 herds out of the 16,858 herds that submitted bulk tank milk (BTM) samples to the Department of Agriculture testing laboratory for routine surveillance were randomly selected for further testing. A final data set of 1,313 sampled herds with a BTM ELISA result were used for the analysis. Testing was conducted using an indirect ELISA kit (ID Screen Mycoplasma bovis). Herd-level risk factors were used as explanatory variables to determine potential risk factors associated with positive herd status (reflecting past or current exposure to M. bovis). A total of 588 of the 1,313 BTM samples were positive to M. bovis, providing an apparent herd prevalence of 0.45 (95% CI: 0.42, 0.47) in Irish dairy herds in autumn 2018. Multivariable analysis was conducted using logistic regression. The final model identified herd size, the number of neighboring farms, in-degree and county as statistically significant risk factors for herd BTM seropositivity to M. bovis. The results suggest a high apparent herd prevalence of seropositivity to M. bovis, and evidence that M. bovis infection is now endemic in the Irish dairy sector. In addition, risk factors identified are closely aligned to what we would expect of an infectious disease. Awareness raising and education about this important disease is warranted given the widespread nature of exposure and likely infection in Irish herds. Further work on the validation of diagnostic tests for herd-level diagnosis should be undertaken as a matter of priority.
      51Scopus© Citations 5