A group of international researchers led by Matt Keeling has just been awarded a grant by the EU ERA-NET anihwa scheme: "Prediction and Control of Vector- and Movement-Borne Livestock Epidemics". Others involved in the project are:
- Uno Wennergren (Linköping University)
- Vittoria Colizza (Universite Pierre et Marie Curie)
- Armando Giovannini (Istituto Giuseppe Caporale Teramo)
- Willem Takken (Wageningen University)
This project aims to create the knowledge, technologies and frameworks to increase the effectiveness of detecting, controlling and eradicating emerging and exotic (vector-borne) diseases in European livestock.
European animal-health is threatened by a range of infectious diseases, many of them vector-borne. This necessitates the development of innovative statistical, mathematical and computational frameworks, that integrate knowledge on animals, vectors and the environment, to understand and predict the dynamics of disease spread and propose options for an effective targeted management. Our approach is based on four complementary and synergistic elements that play to the strengths of the five partner institutions:
Formulation of a generic modeling framework for the spread of vector-borne diseases to assess how spatial spread of infection by vectors can be integrated into spread by local transmission and movement of infected livestock. Investigation of a common tool for monitoring and surveillance of vectors, identifying optimal ways in which this should be employed and assessing delays to detection.
Assessment of practical control measures to understand under what conditions and routes of transmission different control measures (applied individually or in combination) are most effective. Focus on specific case studies that pose a substantial risk to the European livestock industry and for which data is available; including Rift Valley fever, Bluetongue, African Swine fever and Swine Vesicular disease.
The results generated will allow optimized disease surveillance and control, leading to rapid effective response to emerging epidemics. The five European countries represented have a variety of environmental conditions and trading patterns; this will allow targeting of country-specific problems, as well as placing the actions in a pan- European perspective in which we consider control of transboundary diseases to ensure the safety of the European market.