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A spatial data-driven stochastic model was developed to explore the spread of verotoxigenic Escherichia coli O157 (VTEC O157) by livestock movements and local transmission among neighbouring holdings in the complete Swedish cattle population. Livestock data were incorporated to model the time-varying contact network between holdings and population demographics. Furthermore, meteorological data with the average temperature at the geographical location of each holding was used to incorporate season. The model was fitted against observed data and extensive numerical experiments were conducted to investigate the model's response to control strategies aimed at reducing shedding and susceptibility, as well as interventions informed by network measures. The results showed that including local spread and season improved agreement with prevalence studies. Also, control strategies aimed at reducing the average shedding rate were more efficient in reducing the VTEC O157 prevalence than strategies based on network measures. The methodology presented in this study could provide a basis for developing disease surveillance on regional and national scales, where observed data are combined with readily available high-resolution data in simulations to get an overview of potential disease spread in unobserved regions.
Widgren, S., Engblom, S., Emanuelson, U., & Lindberg, A. (2018). Spatio-temporal modelling of verotoxigenic Escherichia coli O157 in cattle in Sweden: Exploring options for control. Veterinary Research, 49(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13567-018-0574-2