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Modelling the potential spread of HPAI in Great Britain

J. E. Dent, I. Z. Kiss, R. R. Kao, M. Arnold

THE potential for highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus outbreaks in the poultry industry in Great Britain remains of concern. This study developed an individual farm-based transmission model for the spread of HPAI between poultry flocks.

All movement data from a major catching company (assisting in catching birds for slaughter), employed by farms throughout Great Britain, were obtained for a 32-month period. Data for all commercial premises housing 50 or more birds, within 15 km of all farms visited by the catching company were also recorded. Expert opinion was sought to inform the likely frequency of personnel movements between farms. Factors with implications for disease transmission were considered. The data were included in a stochastic simulation model, developed at farm level. HPAI could be transmitted between premises in close spacial proximity or through contact via catching teams, slaughterhouse vehicles or personnel movements. Detection and culling dates were set within the model at the time of infection and were dependent on whether the infected premises was in a protection or surveillance zone, or neither. Multiple …

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