Review of epidemiological risk models for foot-and-mouth disease: Implications for prevention strategies with a focus on Africa

Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is a highly infectious transboundary disease that affects domestic and wild cloven-hoofed animal species. The aim of this review was to identify and critically assess some modelling techniques for FMD that are well supported by scientific evidence from the literature with a focus on their use in African countries where the disease remains enzootic. In particular, this study attempted to provide a synopsis of the relative strengths and weaknesses of these models and their relevance to FMD prevention policies. A literature search was conducted to identify quantitative and qualitative risk assessments for FMD, including studies that describe FMD risk factor modelling and spatiotemporal analysis. A description of retrieved papers and a critical assessment of the modelling methods, main findings and their limitations were performed. Different types of models have been used depending on the purpose of the study and the nature of available data. The most frequently identified factors associated with the risk of FMD occurrence were the movement (especially uncontrolled animal movement) and the mixing of animals around water and grazing points. Based on the qualitative and quantitative risk assessment studies, the critical pathway analysis showed that the overall risk of FMDV entering a given country is low. However, in some cases, this risk can be elevated, especially when illegal importation of meat and the movement of terrestrial livestock are involved. Depending on the approach used, these studies highlight shortcomings associated with the application of models and the lack of reliable data from endemic settings. Therefore, the development and application of specific models for use in FMD endemic countries including Africa is encouraged.

Trim content

® The Pirbright Institute 2019 | A company limited by guarantee, registered in England no. 559784. The Institute is also a registered charity.