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Evaluation of bovine viral diarrhoea virus control strategies in dairy herds in Hokkaido, Japan, using stochastic modelling

Sekiguchi, S., Presi, P., Omori, R., Staerk, K., Schuppers, M., Isoda, N., Yoshikawa, Y., Umemura, T., Nakayama, H., Fujii, Y., Sakoda, Y.
Transboundary and emerging diseases 2018 v.65 no.1 pp. e135
Bovine viral diarrhea virus, adults, antigen detection, calves, control methods, dairy farming, dairy herds, death, disease control, emerging diseases, fisheries, forestry, milk production, models, pastures, reproductive disorders, stochastic processes, summer, vaccination, Japan
Bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV) infection in cattle can result in growth retardation, reduced milk production, reproductive disorders and death. Persistently infected animals are the primary source of infection. In Hokkaido, Japan, all cattle entering shared pastures in summer are vaccinated before movement for disease control. Additionally, these cattle may be tested for BVDV and culled if positive. However, the effectiveness of this control strategy aiming to reduce the number of BVDV‐infected animals has not been assessed. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of various test‐and‐cull and/or vaccination strategies on BVDV control in dairy farms in two districts of Hokkaido, Nemuro and Hiyama. A stochastic model was developed to compare the different control strategies over a 10‐year period. The model was individual‐based and simulated disease dynamics both within and between herds. Parameters included in the model were obtained from the literature, the Hokkaido government and the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. Nine different scenarios were compared as follows: no control, test‐and‐cull strategies based on antigen testing of either calves or only cattle entering common pastures, vaccination of all adult cattle or only cattle entering shared pastures and combinations thereof. The results indicate that current strategies for BVDV control in Hokkaido slightly reduced the number of BVDV‐infected animals; however, alternative strategies such as testing all calves and culling any positives or vaccinating all susceptible adult animals dramatically reduced those. To our knowledge, this is the first report regarding the comparison of the effectiveness between the current strategies in Hokkaido and the alternative strategies for BVDV control measures.