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PLoS One. 2019 Mar 5;14(3):e0202721. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0202721. eCollection 2019.

Individual-based network model for Rift Valley fever in Kabale District, Uganda.

Author information

Zoonotic Disease Coordination Office (ZDCO), National One Health Platform (NOHP), Ministry of Health, Kampala, Uganda.
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, College of Engineering, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, United States of America.
Department of Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, United States of America.
USDA-Agricultural Research Service Center for Medical, Agricultural, and Veterinary Entomology, Gainesville, FL, United States of America.


Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a zoonotic disease, that causes significant morbidity and mortality among ungulate livestock and humans in endemic regions. In East Africa, the causative agent of the disease is Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) which is primarily transmitted by multiple mosquito species in Aedes and Mansonia genera during both epizootic and enzootic periods in a complex transmission cycle largely driven by environmental and climatic factors. However, recent RVFV activity in Uganda demonstrated the capability of the virus to spread into new regions through livestock movements, and underscored the need to develop effective mitigation strategies to reduce transmission and prevent spread among cattle populations. We simulated RVFV transmission among cows in 22 different locations of the Kabale District in Uganda using real world livestock data in a network-based model. This model considered livestock as a spatially explicit factor in different locations subjected to specific vector and environmental factors, and was configured to investigate and quantitatively evaluate the relative impacts of mosquito control, livestock movement, and diversity in cattle populations on the spread of the RVF epizootic. We concluded that cattle movement should be restricted for periods of high mosquito abundance to control epizootic spreading among locations during an RVF outbreak. Importantly, simulation results also showed that cattle populations with heterogeneous genetic diversity as crossbreeds were less susceptible to infection compared to homogenous cattle populations.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

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