Publications : 2020

Walz E, Middleton J, Sampedro F, VanderWaal K, Malladi S, Goldsmith T. 2020. Modeling the transmission of foot and mouth disease to inform transportation of infected carcasses to a disposal site during an outbreak event. Front Vet Sci 6:501, doi: 10.3389/fvets.2019.00501.


In the event of a Food and Mouth Disease (FMD) outbreak in the United States, an infected livestock premises is likely to result in a high number of carcasses (swine and/or cattle) as a result of depopulation. If relocating infected carcasses to an off-site disposal site is allowed, the virus may have increased opportunity to spread to uninfected premises and result in exposure of susceptible livestock. A stochastic within-herd disease spread model was used to predict the time to detect the disease by observation of clinical signs within the herd, and the number of animals in different disease stages over time. Expert opinion was elicited to estimate depopulation parameters in various scenarios. Disease detection was assumed when 5% of the population showed clinical signs by direct observation. Time to detection (5 and 95th percentile values) was estimated for all swine farm sizes (500–10,000 head) ranged from 102 to 282 h, from 42 to 216 h for all dairy cattle premises sizes (100–2,000 head) and from 66 to 240 h for all beef cattle premises sizes (5,000–50,000 head). Total time from infection to beginning depopulation (including disease detection and confirmation) for the first FMD infected case was estimated between 8.5–14.3 days for swine, 6–12.8 days for dairy or beef cattle premises. Total time estimated for subsequent FMD cases was between 6.8–12.3 days for swine, 4.3–10.8 days for dairy and 4.5–10.5 days for beef cattle premises. On an average sized operation, a sizable proportion of animals in the herd (34–56% of swine, 48–60% of dairy cattle, and 47–60% of beef cattle for the first case and 49–60% of swine, 55–60% of dairy cattle, 56–59% of beef cattle for subsequent cases) would be viremic at the time of beginning depopulation. A very small fraction of body fluids from the carcasses (i.e., 1 mL) would contain virus that greatly exceeds the minimum infectious dose by oral (4–7x) or inhalation (7–13x) route for pigs and cattle.