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Assessment of different monitoring strategies for early detection of FMD incursion in a free wild boar population area: a simulation modelling approach

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Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is a viral disease primarily of cloven-hoofed animals that can profoundly affect animal husbandry by evolving into severe epidemics that reduce the productivity of susceptible livestock.. Hunting activities are considered valuable for surveillance in the hunting areas, especially at the forest edges, and are a possible option for surveillance. To assess the performance, in terms of early detection, of different monitoring and sampling schemes in case of an incursion of FMD virus in a disease free wild boar population area a simulation model was developed. The findings from this simulation show that a sampling strategy based on hunting alone needs a long time (13 to 39 weeks) before the first sero-positive animal is detected. On the contrary, a sampling strategy based on regular weekly sampling performs relevantly better (maximum number of weeks needed to detect the first sero-positive animal is 5). The simulation results show that in the investigated sensitivity range (i.e. 85% - 100%), the sensitivity of the surveillance system has almost no impact on the number of weeks needed to detect the first case. On the contrary, the specificity of the testing system must be 100% in order to avoid the reporting of false-positive results.

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