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Vaccine. 2003 Jun 20;21(21-22):2862-70.

Optimising vaccination strategies in equine influenza.

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  • 1Animal Health Trust, Lanwades Park, Kentford, Newmarket, Suffolk CB8 7UU, UK. awp@zoo.cam.ac.uk


A stochastic model of equine influenza (EI) is constructed to assess the risk of an outbreak in a Thoroughbred population at a typical flat race training yard. The model is parameterised using data from equine challenge experiments conducted by the Animal Health Trust (relating to the latent and infectious period of animals) and also published data on previous epidemics (to estimate the transmission rate for equine influenza). Using 89 ponies, an empirical relationship between pre-challenge antibody and the probability of becoming infectious is established using logistic regression. Changes in antibody level over time are quantified using published and unpublished studies comprising 618 ponies and horses. A plausible Thoroughbred population is examined over the course of a year and the model is used to assess the risk of an outbreak of EI in the yard under the current minimum vaccination policy in the UK. The model is adapted to consider an alternative vaccination programme where the frequency of vaccination in older horses (2-year-olds and upwards) is increased. Model results show that this practical alternative would offer a significant increase in protection. Spread of infection between yards is also considered to ascertain the risk of secondary outbreaks.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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