Identifying target areas for risk-based surveillance and control of Transboundary Animal Diseases: A seasonal analysis of slaughter and live-trade cattle movements in Uganda

Lina González Gordon, Thibaud Porphyre, Adrian Muwonge, Noelina Nantima, Rose Ademun, Sylvester Ochwo, Norbert Frank Mwiine, Lisa Boden, Dennis Muhanguzi, Mark Bronsvoort

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Animal movements are a major driver for the spread of Transboundary Animal Diseases (TADs). These movements link populations that would otherwise be isolated and hence create opportunities for susceptible and infected individuals to meet. We used social network analysis to describe the seasonal network structure of cattle movements in Uganda and unravel critical network features that identify districts or sub-regions for targeted risk-based surveillance and intervention. We constructed weighted, directed networks based on 2019 between-district cattle movements using official livestock mobility data; the purpose of the movement (‘slaughter’ vs. ‘live trade’) was used to subset the network and capture the risks more reliably.
Our results show that cattle trade can result in local and long-distance disease spread in Uganda.
Seasonal variability appears to impact the structure of the network with high heterogeneity of node and edge activity identified throughout the seasons. These observations mean that the structure of the networks can be exploited to target influential district hubs within the cattle corridor and the peripheral areas in the south and west which would result in rapid network fragmentation reducing the contact structure-related trade risks. Similar exploitable network features were observed for the slaughter network, where cattle traffic serves mainly slaughter hubs close to urban centres along the cattle corridor. Critically, analyses that target the complex livestock supply value chain offer a unique framework for understanding and quantifying risks for TADs such as Foot-and-Mouth disease in a land-locked country like Uganda. These findings can be used to inform the development of risk-based surveillance strategies and decision making on resource allocation, for instance, vaccine deployment, biosecurity enforcement and capacity building for stakeholders at the local community and across animal health services with the potential to limit the socio-economic impact of outbreaks or indeed reduce their frequency.
Original languageEnglish
Article number18619
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalScientific Reports
Volume13
Early online date30 Oct 2023
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Oct 2023

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