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PLoS One. 2017 Aug 11;12(8):e0183126. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0183126. eCollection 2017.

Cost-effectiveness evaluation of bovine tuberculosis surveillance in wildlife in France (Sylvatub system) using scenario trees.

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Ecole vétérinaire d'Alfort (Alfort National Veterinary School), Research unit EpiMAI USC Anses (Epidemiology of Animal Infectious Disease), Université Paris Est, Maisons-Alfort, France.
Santé publique France, French national public health agency, Saint-Maurice, France.
Agence nationale de sécurité alimentaire nationale, French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (Anses), Unit of coordination and support to surveillance, Maisons-Alfort, France.


Bovine tuberculosis (bTB) is a common disease in cattle and wildlife, with health, zoonotic and economic implications. Infected wild animals, and particularly reservoirs, could hinder eradication of bTB from cattle populations, which could have an important impact on international cattle trade. Therefore, surveillance of bTB in wildlife is of particular importance to better understand the epidemiological role of wild species and to adapt the control measures. In France, a bTB surveillance system for free-ranging wildlife, the Sylvatub system, has been implemented since 2011. It relies on three surveillance components (SSCs) (passive surveillance on hunted animals (EC-SSC), passive surveillance on dead or dying animals (SAGIR-SSC) and active surveillance (PSURV-SSC)). The effectiveness of the Sylvatub system was previously assessed, through the estimation of its sensitivity (i.e. the probability of detecting at least one case of bTB infection by each SSC, specie and risk-level area). However, to globally assess the performance of a surveillance system, the measure of its sensitivity is not sufficient, as other factors such as economic or socio-economic factors could influence the effectiveness. We report here an estimation of the costs of the surveillance activities of the Sylvatub system, and of the cost-effectiveness of each surveillance component, by specie and risk-level, based on scenario tree modelling with the same tree structure as used for the sensitivity evaluation. The cost-effectiveness of the Sylvatub surveillance is better in higher-risk departments, due in particular to the higher probability of detecting the infection (sensitivity). Moreover, EC-SSC, which has the highest unit cost, is more efficient than the surveillance enhanced by the SAGIR-SSC, due to its better sensitivity. The calculation of the cost-effectiveness ratio shows that PSURV-SSC remains the most cost-effective surveillance component of the Sylvatub system, despite its high cost in terms of coordination, sample collection and laboratory analysis.

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