Deventer, Netherlands
Deventer, Netherlands

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van Engelen E.,GD Animal Health | Roest H.I.J.,Central Veterinary Institute | van der Hoek W.,National Institute for Public Health and the Environment
Veterinary Microbiology | Year: 2015

Q fever is an almost ubiquitous zoonosis caused by Coxiella burnetii, which is able to infect several animal species, as well as humans. Cattle, sheep and goats are the primary animal reservoirs. In small ruminants, infections are mostly without clinical symptoms, however, abortions and stillbirths can occur, mainly during late pregnancy. Shedding of C. burnetii occurs in feces, milk and, mostly, in placental membranes and birth fluids. During parturition of infected small ruminants, bacteria from birth products become aerosolized. Transmission to humans mainly happens through inhalation of contaminated aerosols. In the last decade, there have been several, sometimes large, human Q fever outbreaks related to sheep and goats. In this review, we describe C. burnetii infections in sheep and goats, including both advantages and disadvantages of available laboratory techniques, as pathology, different serological tests, PCR and culture to detect C. burnetii. Moreover, worldwide prevalences of C. burnetii in small ruminants are described, as well as possibilities for treatment and prevention. Prevention of shedding and subsequent environmental contamination by vaccination of sheep and goats with a phase I vaccine are possible. In addition, compulsory surveillance of C. burnetii in small ruminant farms raises awareness and hygiene measures in farms help to decrease exposure of people to the organism. Finally, this review challenges how to contain an infection of C. burnetii in small ruminants, bearing in mind possible consequences for the human population and probable interference of veterinary strategies, human risk perception and political considerations. © 2015 Elsevier B.V..


Mitchell R.M.,Cornell University | Mitchell R.M.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Whitlock R.H.,University of Pennsylvania | Grohn Y.T.,Cornell University | And 2 more authors.
Preventive Veterinary Medicine | Year: 2015

Mathematical models for infectious disease are often used to improve our understanding of infection biology or to evaluate the potential efficacy of intervention programs. Here, we develop a mathematical model that aims to describe infection dynamics of Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP). The model was developed using current knowledge of infection biology and also includes some components of MAP infection dynamics that are currently still hypothetical. The objective was to show methods for parameter estimation of state transition models and to connect simulation models with detailed real life data. Thereby making model predictions and results of simulations more reflective and predictive of real world situations. Longitudinal field data from a large observational study are used to estimate parameter values. It is shown that precise data, including molecular diagnostics on the obtained MAP strains, results in more precise and realistic parameter estimates. It is argued that modeling of infection disease dynamics is of great value to understand the patho-biology, epidemiology and control of infectious diseases. The quality of conclusions drawn from model studies depend on two key issues; first, the quality of biology that has gone in the process of developing the model structure; second the quality of the data that go into the estimation of the parameters and the quality and quantity of the data that go into model validation. The more real world data that are used in the model building process, the more likely that modeling studies will provide novel, innovative and valid results. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.


PubMed | Complutense University of Madrid, Economics and Public Health Group, Animal and Plant Health Agency APHA, GD Animal Health and 4 more.
Type: | Journal: Epidemiology and infection | Year: 2016

Animal health surveillance enables the detection and control of animal diseases including zoonoses. Under the EU-FP7 project RISKSUR, a survey was conducted in 11 EU Member States and Switzerland to describe active surveillance components in 2011 managed by the public or private sector and identify gaps and opportunities. Information was collected about hazard, target population, geographical focus, legal obligation, management, surveillance design, risk-based sampling, and multi-hazard surveillance. Two countries were excluded due to incompleteness of data. Most of the 664 components targeted cattle (267%), pigs (175%) or poultry (160%). The most common surveillance objectives were demonstrating freedom from disease (438%) and case detection (268%). Over half of components applied risk-based sampling (571%), but mainly focused on a single population stratum (targeted risk-based) rather than differentiating between risk levels of different strata (stratified risk-based). About a third of components were multi-hazard (373%). Both risk-based sampling and multi-hazard surveillance were used more frequently in privately funded components. The study identified several gaps (e.g. lack of systematic documentation, inconsistent application of terminology) and opportunities (e.g. stratified risk-based sampling). The greater flexibility provided by the new EU Animal Health Law means that systematic evaluation of surveillance alternatives will be required to optimize cost-effectiveness.


Smith R.L.,Illinois College | Schukken Y.H.,GD Animal Health | Grohn Y.T.,Cornell University
Preventive Veterinary Medicine | Year: 2015

Models of. Mycobacterium avium subsp + paratuberculosis (MAP), a chronic infectious agent of cattle, are used to identify effective control programs. However, new biological findings show that adult infections occur and that infected animals can be separated into 2 paths: animals that will become high-shedding and, eventually, experience clinical disease (high-path); and animals that will shed only small quantities of MAP and will remain subclinical (low-path). Longitudinal data analysis found that high-path animals progress more quickly than previously believed. A standard model of MAP transmission in dairy herds was modified to include adult low-path infections and 2 infection pathways for infected calves. Analysis of this model showed that adult infection may play an important role in MAP dynamics on a dairy farm, and that the increased rate of progression for high-path animals influences both the prevalence and the persistence of MAP on a dairy farm. This new model will be able to determine the effectiveness of MAP control programs more accurately than previous models. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.


Gubbins S.,The Pirbright Institute | Turner J.,University of Liverpool | Baylis M.,University of Liverpool | van der Stede Y.,Unit of Co ordination Veterinary Diagnosis Epidemiology and Risk Assessment | And 4 more authors.
Preventive Veterinary Medicine | Year: 2014

In the summer of 2011 Schmallenberg virus (SBV), a Culicoides-borne orthobunyavirus, emerged in Germany and The Netherlands and subsequently spread across much of Europe. To draw inferences about the transmission of SBV we have developed two models to describe its spread within and between farms. The within-farm model was fitted to seroprevalence data for cattle and sheep farms in Belgium and The Netherlands, with parameters estimated using approximate Bayesian computation. Despite the short duration of viraemia in cattle and sheep (mean of 3-4 days) the within-farm seroprevalence can reach high levels (mean within-herd seroprevalence >80%), largely because the probability of transmission from host to vector is high (14%) and SBV is able to replicate quickly (0.03 per day-degree) and at relatively low temperatures (threshold for replication: 12.3 °C). Parameter estimates from the within-farm model were then used in a separate between-farm model to simulate the regional spread of SBV. This showed that the rapid spread of SBV at a regional level is primarily a consequence of the high probability of transmission from host to vector and the temperature requirements for virus replication. Our results, obtained for a region of the UK in a typical year with regard to animal movements, indicate that there is no need to invoke additional transmission mechanisms to explain the observed patterns of rapid spread of SBV in Europe. Moreover, the imposition of movement restrictions, even a total movement ban, has little effect on the spread of SBV at this scale. © 2014 The Authors.


Roberts H.C.,Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency | Elbers A.R.W.,Central Veterinary Institute | Conraths F.J.,Friedrich Loeffler Institute | Holsteg M.,Landwirtschaftskammer Nordrhein Westfalen | And 3 more authors.
Preventive Veterinary Medicine | Year: 2014

Surveillance for new emerging animal diseases from a European perspective is complicated by the non-harmonised approach across Member States for data capture, recording livestock populations and case definitions. In the summer of 2011, a new vector-borne Orthobunyavirus emerged in Northern Europe and for the first time, a coordinated approach to horizon scanning, risk communication, data and diagnostic test sharing allowed EU Member States to develop early predictions of the disease, its impact and risk management options. There are many different systems in place across the EU for syndromic and scanning surveillance and the differences in these systems have presented epidemiologists and risk assessors with concerns about their combined use in early identification of an emerging disease. The emergence of a new disease always will raise challenging issues around lack of capability and lack of knowledge; however, Schmallenberg virus (SBV) gave veterinary authorities an additional complex problem: the infection caused few clinical signs in adult animals, with no indication of the possible source and little evidence about its spread or means of transmission. This paper documents the different systems in place in some of the countries (Germany and the Netherlands) which detected disease initially and predicted its spread (to the UK) and how information sharing helped to inform early warning and risk assessment for Member States. Microarray technology was used to identify SBV as a new pathogen and data from the automated cattle milking systems coupled with farmer-derived data on reporting non-specific clinical signs gave the first indications of a widespread issue while the UK used meteorological modelling to map disease incursion. The coordinating role of both EFSA and the European Commission were vital as are the opportunities presented by web-based publishing for disseminating information to industry and the public. The future of detecting emerging disease looks more positive in the light of this combined approach in the EU. © 2014.


Landman W.J.M.,GD Animal Health | van Eck J.H.H.,University Utrecht
Avian Pathology | Year: 2015

The incidence and economic impact of the Escherichia coli peritonitis syndrome (EPS), characterized by acute mortality, were estimated in chicken egg-producing farms in the Netherlands in 2013. The incidence was significantly higher (P < 0.05) in the meat-sector (35% affected farms) compared to the layer-sector (7% affected farms). In consumption egg-producing farms EPS occurred on 12% of the free range and organic farms, while it was found on 1% and 4% of the cage and barn farms, respectively. Data from four layer and two broiler breeder flocks with EPS were used to estimate the overall economic impact of the disease. Mean numbers of eggs lost were 10 and 11 per hen housed (phh), while mean slaughter weight loss was 0.2 and 0.5 kg phh in the four layer and two broiler breeder flocks, respectively. Total losses including costs of destruction of dead hens, compensated for reduced feed intake due to a smaller flock size, ranged from €0.28 phh (cage farms) to €9.75 phh (grandparent farms) in the layer-sector and from €1.87 phh (parent farms) to €10.73 phh (grandparent farms) in the meat-sector. Antibiotics against EPS were given often and repeatedly especially in the meat-sector. Including the costs of antibiotics, total losses were estimated at €0.4 million, €3.3 million and €3.7 million for the layer-sector, the meat-sector and poultry farming as a whole, respectively. Research focusing on the prevention and treatment of EPS is justified by its severe clinical and economic impact. © 2015 Houghton Trust Ltd.


PubMed | GD Animal Health
Type: | Journal: Veterinary microbiology | Year: 2016

The objective of the present study was to analyse the in vitro antimicrobial susceptibility of Streptococcus suis isolates from post-mortem samples from pigs in the Netherlands. S. suis isolates originated from diagnostic submissions of pigs sent to the Pathology Department of GD Animal Health, from April 2013 till June 2015. Minimal inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of in total 15 antimicrobials were assessed by broth microdilution following CLSI recommendations. MIC


PubMed | University Utrecht and GD Animal Health
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of dairy science | Year: 2016

Although several microbiological mastitis diagnostic tools are currently available, dairy farmers rarely use them to base treatment decisions on. In this study, we conducted a telephone interview among 195 randomly selected Dutch dairy farmers to determine their current use of and their need for microbiological diagnostics for clinical mastitis (CM), subclinical mastitis (SCM), and dry-cow treatment (DCT), followed by the test characteristics they consider important. A structured questionnaire was used, based on face-to-face interviews previously held with other farmers. The answers were registered in a database and analyzed using descriptive statistics and univariable and multivariable models. Antimicrobial treatment decisions for CM, SCM, and DCT were mainly based on clinical signs and somatic cell count. In case of CM, 34% of farmers indicated that they currently submit milk samples for bacteriological culture (BC). This would increase to 71% if an on-farm test resulting in treatment advice within 12 h were available. For SCM, use would increase from 22 to 55%, and for DCT, from 7 to 34%, if the same 12-h test were available. For CM and DCT, the preferred test outcome was advice on which antibiotic to use, according to 58 and 15% of the farmers, respectively. For SCM, the preferred test outcome was the causative bacterium for 38% of the farmers. Farmers who currently submit CM milk samples for BC were 13.1 times more likely to indicate, as the preferred test outcome, advice on which antibiotic to use, compared with farmers who do not currently submit CM milk samples for BC. Fourteen percent of the farmers indicated not being interested at all in microbiological mastitis diagnostics for CM. For SCM and DCT, 27 and 55%, respectively, were not interested in microbiological mastitis diagnostics. Regarding test characteristics that farmers considered important, reliability was most often indicated (44-51% of the farmers). Additionally, a preferred time-to-result of 8 h for CM and 20 to 24 h for SCM and DCT and 7% false test outcomes were indicated as desired characteristics of microbiological mastitis diagnostics. Overall, a need seems to exist for microbiological mastitis diagnostic tests among Dutch dairy farmers, specifically for CM, and resulting in a treatment advice. The availability of a reliable diagnostic test, with a suitable time-to-result, will likely increase the use of microbiological mastitis diagnostics and eventually optimize antibiotic usage.


PubMed | University Utrecht and GD Animal Health
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of dairy science | Year: 2016

Recently, many changes have been implemented in Dutch dairy herds. Herd sizes have increased and antimicrobial use has been reduced. Certain types of antimicrobials can only be used in specific circumstances, and the preventive use of antimicrobials in dry cows is prohibited. The aim of this study was to quantify clinical mastitis (CM), subclinical mastitis (SCM), and risk factors associated with CM in Dutch dairy herds in 2013, in the context of these changes. For this study, 240 dairy herds were randomly selected from farms that participated in test-day milk recording, used a conventional milking system, and agreed to participate in the study. Eventually, 233 Dutch dairy farmers had complete records of CM in their herds in 2013 and 224 of these farmers completed a questionnaire on management factors potentially associated with CM. All participating farmers gave consent to use their routinely collected herd data such as test-day records and cow identification and registration data. Clinical and subclinical mastitis incidence rate (CMI and SCMI, respectively) per 100 cows per year, subclinical mastitis prevalence, and average bulk tank milk somatic cell count were obtained for 2013. The risk factor analysis was conducted using a generalized linear model with a log link function and a negative binomial distribution on herd level in Stata 13.1. A median CMI of 28.6 per 100 cows at risk per year, SCMI of 70.1 per 100 cows at risk per year, SCM prevalence of 15.8%, and bulk tank milk somatic cell count of 171 10(3) cells/mL were observed in 2013. Factors that were significantly associated with a higher CMI were cleaning slatted floors only once per day compared with more than 4 times a day (i.e., mechanical), a higher percentage of Holstein Friesian cows present in the herd, treating less than 50% of the cows with CM with antimicrobials, postmilking teat disinfection, and treatment of cows with elevated somatic cell count with antimicrobials. The results of this study indicated that udder health had not deteriorated compared with udder health in previous Dutch studies where herd sizes were somewhat smaller and before the restrictions in antimicrobial use. Several of the risk factors that were found can be influenced by the farmer and can prevent the occurrence of CMI. Still, when cases of CM occur, treatment with antimicrobials might be necessary to cure the CM case and is beneficial for the overall udder health in the herd.

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