Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Epidemiological Methods for Better Prevention and Control of Swine Infectious Diseases in Backyard Predominant Production Systems
by Kukielka, Esther, Ph.D., University of California, Davis, 2018, 109; 10934386
Abstract (Summary)

Backyard producers are the predominant animal production system globally and they have a key role in food security in many countries. In many of these settings, data gathering is challenging due to the limited resources allocated for this task, the wide spatial distribution of farms across a country, and the small number of animals raised per farmer. Limited data availability hinders the understanding of disease dynamics, making it difficult to know where to focus disease control strategies as well as what type of regulations are needed to prevent disease spread.

Data gathering is particularly limited in low and middle-income countries (LMIC) (OECD, 2018) highlight the need to adapt data collection and analysis to these settings. Left unaided, backyard producers in LMIC lack access to veterinary services (i.e. vaccination) and animal health education, which translates to disease spread, food insecurity and potential devastating national economic consequences derived from disease related trade restrictions as well as animal products price fluctuations. Defining novel methods to study disease dynamics in data scarce environments, especially in LMIC with a predominant backyard production system, is thus paramount.

In this thesis, different epidemiological and statistic methods have been developed and adapted in order to describe, study and analyse disease dynamics and risk factors associated with infectious swine diseases in data scarce environments with a focus on two swine diseases (African swine fever (ASF) and classical swine fever (CSF)) in predominantly backyard predominant production systems (BPS). The ultimate goal is to inform the implementation of more effective prevention and control programs in these complex epidemiological settings. Specifically, we conducted our study in three different LMIC with predominant BPSs (i.e., Uganda, Georgia and Peru) in order to depict their specific characteristics and association with two main swine diseases: ASF and CSF.

In chapter one, I present the use of questionnaires, participatory rural appraisals, multiple correspondence analysis and hierarchical cluster analysis to study the interactions between wild African pigs and domestic pigs; as well as their implication for ASF disease in Nwoya, Uganda. I also provide a description of the most representative variables that define household-owning pigs regarding pig management behaviour and practices in the area.

In chapter two, I demonstrate the use of social network analysis and exponential random graph models in LMIC settings by identifying the most important village characteristics contributing to live-pig trade in Georgia.

In chapter three, I use a network-based disease spread model to characterize the live pig network of Peru and identify areas at higher risk of CSF outbreaks in the country where resources against CSF such as targeted vaccination could be allocated.

This work provides examples of different techniques by which allocation of resources in LMIC can be better utilized in the fight against animal infectious diseases in backyard swine production systems.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Martinez-Lopez, Beatriz
Commitee: Pires, Alda, Stahl, Karl
School: University of California, Davis
Department: Epidemiology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 80/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Animal Diseases, Epidemiology, Veterinary services
Keywords: African swine fever, Backyard production systems, Classical swine fever, Epidemiology, Methods, Modelling
Publication Number: 10934386
ISBN: 978-0-438-62982-0
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