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Simulation of the transmission of Salmonella enteritidis phage type 4 in a flock of laying hens
  1. J. Leslie, BSc, MSc, PhD1
  1. 1 Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics Research Unit, Department of Agriculture, Reading University, Earley Gate, PO Box 236, Reading RG6 6AT


Simulation of disease transmission in laying flocks infected with Salmonella enteritidis phage type 4 over a 48-week eggproduction period indicated that the maximum weekly incidence risk could range from 0.05 to 0.28, and the maximum proportion of culture-positive birds could range from 0.20 to 0.77 of the flock, depending on the effective contact rate. If the egg contamination proportion were 0.08, contaminated egg production could vary from a weekly maximum of 0.42 per cent to 2.24 per cent depending on the effective contact rate, but the actual rate of contamination was more important in determining the numbers of infected eggs produced. The results from previous studies suggest that this proportion could range from 0.075 to 0.25. The model produced levels of infected and immune birds similar to those reported in the literature, suggesting effective contact rates of between 2 and 4.5. There is insufficient information on transmission cycles to validate the model, but it does provide a mechanism for consolidating research findings, reviewing areas for further research, and aiding more effective planning for disease control.

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