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PLoS One. 2012;7(2):e31114. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0031114. Epub 2012 Feb 14.

Modelling the wind-borne spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza virus between farms.

Author information

  • 1Department of Epidemiology, Crisis Organization and Diagnostics, Central Veterinary Institute part of Wageningen University and Research Centre, Lelystad, The Netherlands. amos.ssematimba@wur.nl

Abstract

A quantitative understanding of the spread of contaminated farm dust between locations is a prerequisite for obtaining much-needed insight into one of the possible mechanisms of disease spread between farms. Here, we develop a model to calculate the quantity of contaminated farm-dust particles deposited at various locations downwind of a source farm and apply the model to assess the possible contribution of the wind-borne route to the transmission of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza virus (HPAI) during the 2003 epidemic in the Netherlands. The model is obtained from a Gaussian Plume Model by incorporating the dust deposition process, pathogen decay, and a model for the infection process on exposed farms. Using poultry- and avian influenza-specific parameter values we calculate the distance-dependent probability of between-farm transmission by this route. A comparison between the transmission risk pattern predicted by the model and the pattern observed during the 2003 epidemic reveals that the wind-borne route alone is insufficient to explain the observations although it could contribute substantially to the spread over short distance ranges, for example, explaining 24% of the transmission over distances up to 25 km.

PMID:
22348042
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3279517
Free PMC Article

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