Identifying critical parameters in the dynamics and control of microparasite infection using a stochastic epidemiological model

M. Nath, John Woolliams, Stephen Bishop

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A stochastic epidemic model is presented to study infection transmission dynamics, and hence epidemic severity and disease incidence, in a closed population. The aim was to understand the relative importance of various parameters that influence the dynamics of potential epidemics, particularly when the genetic mechanisms of resistance or tolerance to infection are considered. Simulations explored the effect of varying the transmission coefficient, latent period, recovery period, mortality rate, and the period of loss of immunity on overall epidemic outcomes. The critical parameters influencing the transmission of infection, and hence disease incidence, were the transmission coefficient, the latent period, and the recovery period; the period of loss of immunity had only trivial effects. Ideally, control strategies should decrease the transmission coefficient and/or increase the latent period and/or decrease the recovery period. By equating measured traits with disease transmission parameters, the model described in this paper can be used to identify which disease resistance genes or QTL will be truly effective in helping to develop disease-resistant livestock that suffer fewer epidemics and side-effects of infection. In particular, emphases should be placed on finding genes that decrease the transmission of infection, increase the latent period, or decrease the recovery period.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)384-396
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Animal Science
Volume82
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2004

Keywords

  • animal health
  • disease resistance
  • disease transmission
  • epidemiology
  • genetics
  • immunology

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