Now showing 1 - 9 of 9
  • Publication
    A modelling framework for the prediction of the herd-level probability of infection from longitudinal data
    he collective control programmes (CPs) that exist for many infectious diseases of farm animals rely on the application of diagnostic testing at regular time intervals for the identification of infected animals or herds. The diversity of these CPs complicates the trade of animals between regions or countries because the definition of freedom from infection differs from one CP to another. In this paper, we describe a statistical model for the prediction of herd-level probabilities of infection from longitudinal data collected as part of CPs against infectious diseases of cattle. The model was applied to data collected as part of a CP against bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV) infection in Loire-Atlantique, France. The model represents infection as a herd latent status with a monthly dynamics. This latent status determines test results through test sensitivity and test specificity. The probability of becoming status positive between consecutive months is modelled as a function of risk factors (when available) using logistic regression. Modelling is performed in a Bayesian framework, using either Stan or JAGS. Prior distributions need to be provided for the sensitivities and specificities of the different tests used, for the probability of remaining status positive between months as well as for the probability of becoming positive between months. When risk factors are available, prior distributions need to be provided for the coefficients of the logistic regression, replacing the prior for the probability of becoming positive. From these prior distributions and from the longitudinal data, the model returns posterior probability distributions for being status positive for all herds on the current month. Data from the previous months are used for parameter estimation. The impact of using different prior distributions and model implementations on parameter estimation was evaluated. The main advantage of this model is its ability to predict a probability of being status positive in a month from inputs that can vary in terms of nature of test, frequency of testing and risk factor availability/presence. The main challenge in applying the model to the BVDV CP data was in identifying prior distributions, especially for test characteristics, that corresponded to the latent status of interest, i.e. herds with at least one persistently infected (PI) animal. The model is available on Github as an R package (https://github.com/AurMad/STOCfree) and can be used to carry out output-based evaluation of disease CPs.
      227
  • Publication
    STOC Free: An Innovative Framework to Compare Probability of Freedom From Infection in Heterogeneous Control Programmes
    The existence, stage of eradication and design of control programmes (CPs) for diseases that are not regulated by the EU differ between Member States. When freedom from infection is reached (or being pursued), safe trade is essential to protect (or reach) that status. The aim of STOC free, a collaborative project between six countries, is to develop and validate a framework that enables a transparent and standardized comparison of confidence of freedom for CPs across herds, regions or countries. The framework consists of a model combined with a tool to facilitate the collection of the necessary parameters. All relevant actions taken in a CP are included in a Bayesian network model, which allows prior distributions for most parameters. In addition, frequency of occurrence and risk estimates for factors that influence either the probability of introduction or temporary misclassification leading to delayed detection of the infection are included in the model. Bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV) is used as an example disease. Many countries have CPs in place for BVDV and although elements of the CPs are similar, biosecurity measures and testing protocols, including types of tests and testing frequency, as well as target groups, differ widely. Although the initially developed framework is based on BVDV, the aim is to make it sufficiently generic to be adaptable to CPs for other diseases and possibly other species. Thus, STOC free will result in a single general framework, adaptable to multiple disease CPs, which aims to enhance the safety of trade.
      238Scopus© Citations 9
  • Publication
    A framework for assessing confidence in freedom from infection in animal disease control programmes
    In the Surveillance Tool for Outcome-based Comparison of FREEdom from infection (STOC free) project (https://www.stocfree.eu), a data collection tool was constructed to facilitate standardised collection of input data, and a model was developed to allow a standardised and harmonised comparison of the outputs of different control programmes (CPs) for cattle diseases. The STOC free model can be used to evaluate the probability of freedom from infection for herds in CPs and to determine whether these CPs comply with the European Union's pre-defined output-based standards. Bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV) was chosen as the case disease for this project because of the diversity in CPs in the six participating countries. Detailed BVDV CP and risk factor information was collected using the data collection tool. For inclusion of the data in the STOC free model, key aspects and default values were quantified. A Bayesian hidden Markov model was deemed appropriate, and a model was developed for BVDV CPs. The model was tested and validated using real BVDV CP data from partner countries, and corresponding computer code was made publicly available. The STOC free model focuses on herd-level data, although that animal-level data can be included after aggregation to herd level. The STOC free model is applicable to diseases that are endemic, given that it needs the presence of some infection to estimate parameters and enable convergence. In countries where infection-free status has been achieved, a scenario tree model could be a better suited tool. Further work is recommended to generalise the STOC free model to other diseases.
      32Scopus© Citations 1
  • Publication
    Key Learnings During the Development of a Generic Data Collection Tool to Support Assessment of Freedom of Infection in Cattle Herds
    Various European Member States have implemented control or eradication programmes for endemic infectious diseases in cattle. The design of these programmes varies between countries and therefore comparison of the outputs of different control programmes is complex. Although output-based methods to estimate the confidence of freedom resulting from these programmes are under development, as yet there is no practical modeling framework applicable to a variety of infectious diseases. Therefore, a data collection tool was developed to evaluate data availability and quality and to collect actual input data required for such a modeling framework. The aim of the current paper is to present the key learnings from the process of the development of this data collection tool. The data collection tool was developed by experts from two international projects: STOC free (Surveillance Tool for Outcome-based Comparison of FREEdom from infection, www.stocfree.eu) and SOUND control (Standardizing OUtput-based surveillance to control Non-regulated Diseases of cattle in the EU, www.sound-control.eu). Initially a data collection tool was developed for assessment of freedom of bovine viral diarrhea virus in six Western European countries. This tool was then further generalized to enable inclusion of data for other cattle diseases i.e., infectious bovine rhinotracheitis and Johne's disease. Subsequently, the tool was pilot-tested by a Western and Eastern European country, discussed with animal health experts from 32 different European countries and further developed for use throughout Europe. The developed online data collection tool includes a wide range of variables that could reasonably influence confidence of freedom, including those relating to cattle demographics, risk factors for introduction and characteristics of disease control programmes. Our results highlight the fact that data requirements for different cattle diseases can be generalized and easily included in a data collection tool. However, there are large differences in data availability and comparability across European countries, presenting challenges to the development of a standardized data collection tool and modeling framework. These key learnings are important for development of any generic data collection tool for animal disease control purposes. Further, the results can facilitate development of output-based modeling frameworks that aim to calculate confidence of freedom from disease.
      227Scopus© Citations 2
  • Publication
    Quantification of risk factors for bovine viral diarrhea virus in cattle herds: A systematic search and meta-analysis of observational studies
    Bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) is endemic in many parts of the world, and multiple countries have implemented surveillance activities for disease control or eradication. In such control programs, the disease-free status can be compromised by factors that pose risks for introduction or persistence of the virus. The aim of the present study was to gain a comprehensive overview of possible risk factors for BVDV infection in cattle herds in Europe and to assess their importance. Papers that considered risk factors for BVDV infection in cattle were identified through a systematic search. Further selection of papers eligible for quantitative analysis was performed using a predefined checklist, including (1) appropriate region (i.e., studies performed in Europe), (2) representativeness of the study population, (3) quality of statistical analysis, and (4) availability of sufficient quantitative data. In total, 18 observational studies were selected. Data were analyzed by a random-effects meta-analysis to obtain pooled estimates of the odds of BVDV infection. Meta-analyses were performed on 6 risk factors: herd type, herd size, participation in shows or markets, introduction of cattle, grazing, and contact with other cattle herds on pasture. Significant higher odds were found for dairy herds (odds ratio, OR = 1.63, 95% confidence interval, CI: 1.06–2.50) compared with beef herds, for larger herds (OR = 1.04 for every 10 extra animals in the herd, 95% CI: 1.02–1.06), for herds that participate in shows or markets (OR = 1.45, 95% CI: 1.10–1.91), for herds that introduced cattle into the herd (OR = 1.41, 95% CI: 1.18–1.69), and for herds that share pasture or have direct contact with cattle of other herds at pasture (OR = 1.32, 95% CI: 1.07–1.63). These pooled values must be interpreted with care, as there was a high level of heterogeneity between studies. However, they do give an indication of the importance of the most frequently studied risk factors and can therefore assist in the development, evaluation, and optimization of BVDV control programs.
      263Scopus© Citations 17
  • Publication
    Output-based Assessment of Herd-level Freedom From Infection in Endemic Situations: Application of a Bayesian Hidden Markov Model
    Countries have implemented control programmes (CPs) for cattle diseases such as bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV) that are tailored to each country-specific situation. Practical methods are needed to assess the output of these CPs in terms of the confidence of freedom from infection that is achieved. As part of the STOC free project, a Bayesian Hidden Markov model was developed, called STOC free model, to estimate the probability of infection at herd-level. In the current study, the STOC free model was applied to BVDV field data in four study regions, from CPs based on ear notch samples. The aim of this study was to estimate the probability of herd-level freedom from BVDV in regions that are not (yet) free. We additionally evaluated the sensitivity of the parameter estimates and predicted probabilities of freedom to the prior distributions for the different model parameters. First, default priors were used in the model to enable comparison of model outputs between study regions. Thereafter, country-specific priors based on expert opinion or historical data were used in the model, to study the influence of the priors on the results and to obtain country-specific estimates. The STOC free model calculates a posterior value for the model parameters (e.g. herd-level test sensitivity and specificity, probability of introduction of infection) and a predicted probability of infection. The probability of freedom from infection was computed as one minus the probability of infection. For dairy herds that were considered free from infection within their own CP, the predicted probabilities of freedom were very high for all study regions ranging from 0.98 to 1.00, regardless of the use of default or country-specific priors. The priors did have more influence on two of the model parameters, herd-level sensitivity and the probability of remaining infected, due to the low prevalence and incidence of BVDV in the study regions. The advantage of STOC free model compared to scenario tree modelling, the reference method, is that actual data from the CP can be used and estimates are easily updated when new data becomes available.
      83Scopus© Citations 2
  • Publication
    A modelling framework for the prediction of the herd-level probability of infection from longitudinal data
    The collective control programmes (CPs) that exist for many infectious diseases of farm animals rely on the application of diagnostic testing at regular time intervals for the identification of infected animals or herds. The diversity of these CPs complicates the trade of animals between regions or countries because the definition of freedom from infection differs from one CP to another. In this paper, we describe a statistical model for the prediction of herd-level probabilities of infection from longitudinal data collected as part of CPs against infectious diseases of cattle. The model was applied to data collected as part of a CP against bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV) infection in Loire-Atlantique, France. The model represents infection as a herd latent status with a monthly dynamics. This latent status determines test results through test sensitivity and test specificity. The probability of becoming status positive between consecutive months is modelled as a function of risk factors (when available) using logistic regression. Modelling is performed in a Bayesian framework, using either Stan or JAGS. Prior distributions need to be provided for the sensitivities and specificities of the different tests used, for the probability of remaining status positive between months as well as for the probability of becoming positive between months. When risk factors are available, prior distributions need to be provided for the coefficients of the logistic regression, replacing the prior for the probability of becoming positive. From these prior distributions and from the longitudinal data, the model returns posterior probability distributions for being status positive for all herds on the current month. Data from the previous months are used for parameter estimation. The impact of using different prior distributions and model implementations on parameter estimation was evaluated. The main advantage of this model is its ability to predict a probability of being status positive in a month from inputs that can vary in terms of nature of test, frequency of testing and risk factor availability/presence. The main challenge in applying the model to the BVDV CP data was in identifying prior distributions, especially for test characteristics, that corresponded to the latent status of interest, i.e. herds with at least one persistently infected (PI) animal. The model is available on Github as an R package (https://github.com/AurMad/STOCfree) and can be used to carry out output-based evaluation of disease CPs.
      66
  • Publication
    Comparison of the confidence in freedom from infection based on different control programmes between EU member states: STOC free
    The STOC free project constructed a generic framework that allows a standardised and harmonised description of different control programmes (CP) for cattle diseases. The STOC free model can be used to determine the confidence of freedom from infection that has been achieved in disease CPs, in support of an ongoing assessment of progress towards output-based standards as outlined in the EU Animal Health Law. With this information, and as required, further CP actions can be taken to mitigate the risks of persistence and (re-)introduction on the probability of freedom from infection. Bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV) was chosen as the case disease because of the diversity in CPs in the six participating countries. A Bayesian hidden Markov model was considered the best modelling method. Detailed BVDV CP information was collected in the participating countries and the key aspects for inclusion in the STOC free model were identified. A first version of STOC free model was developed and tested on simulated data. The risk factors for BVDV infection that needed to be included in the model were defined and default values for these risk factors were quantified. A data collection tool was finalised with which the data for the STOC free model was collected. Subsequently, the developed model was tested and validated using real BVDV CP data from partner countries. Based on the feedback, the model was finalised and the report and corresponding computer code were made publicly available. There were roughly three different BVDV situations that occurred in the partner countries: 1. Endemic situation with a CP operating at herd level, 2. Endemic situation with a CP operating at animal level and 3. BVD free situation. The STOC free model is able to include herd level data only and animal level data has to be aggregated to herd level before the model can be applied. The STOC free model is not applicable for a country that is completely BVDV free given that it needs some infections to estimate its parameters and converge. In the latter situation, a scenario tree model could be a better suited tool, and this was evaluated in the Swedish case study. Further work is needed for generalisation of the method to other diseases and expansion of the method to include socioeconomic aspects of CPs.
      284
  • Publication
    A description and qualitative comparison of the elements of heterogeneous bovine viral diarrhea control programs that influence confidence of freedom
    For endemic infections in cattle that are not regulated at the European Union level, such as bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV), European Member States have implemented control or eradication programs (CEP) tailored to their specific situations. Different methods are used to assign infection-free status in CEP; therefore, the confidence of freedom associated with the “free” status generated by different CEP are difficult to compare, creating problems for the safe trade of cattle between territories. Safe trade would be facilitated with an output-based framework that enables a transparent and standardized comparison of confidence of freedom for CEP across herds, regions, or countries. The current paper represents the first step toward development of such a framework by seeking to describe and qualitatively compare elements of CEP that contribute to confidence of freedom. For this work, BVDV was used as a case study. We qualitatively compared heterogeneous BVDV CEP in 6 European countries: Germany, France, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Scotland. Information about BVDV CEP that were in place in 2017 and factors influencing the risk of introduction and transmission of BVDV (the context) were collected using an existing tool, with modifications to collect information about aspects of control and context. For the 6 participating countries, we ranked all individual elements of the CEP and their contexts that could influence the probability that cattle from a herd categorized as BVDV-free are truly free from infection. Many differences in the context and design of BVDV CEP were found. As examples, CEP were either mandatory or voluntary, resulting in variation in risks from neighboring herds, and risk factors such as cattle density and the number of imported cattle varied greatly between territories. Differences were also found in both testing protocols and definitions of freedom from disease. The observed heterogeneity in both the context and CEP design will create difficulties when comparing different CEP in terms of confidence of freedom from infection. These results highlight the need for a standardized practical methodology to objectively and quantitatively determine confidence of freedom resulting from different CEP around the world.
      201Scopus© Citations 15