A systematic review of the methods used to analyse the economic impact of endemic foot-and-mouth disease

Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) has large economic consequences in livestock systems, which must be robustly assessed to support disease control policy. This study described and assessed methods used within economic analyses of FMD and its control in endemic contexts. A systematic literature search was conducted in six academic search engines. Studies were included if they applied an economic analysis to a context with endemic FMD, producing a result articulated as a monetary figure. Data collected from each article included country of study, animal population, geographical level of analysis, time horizon and type of economic analysis. Each paper was scored using a quality assessment tool containing a checklist of 42 reporting criteria. Sixty-four articles were included, from 12,087 identified in the searches, describing results for 26 countries. Over half of the articles (56%) described economic impact of FMD retrospectively, often only accounting for a selection of direct costs at farm or household level. Median quality score calculated was 41% (range 8%-86%). Methods were generally poorly reported, confirming previously described difficulties in using published data to evaluate economic impact of endemic FMD. Few papers included disaggregation of public and private costs, or benefits, of FMD control, or accounted for economic or social influences of scale in vaccination programmes. Many of the studies included had gaps in both premise and methodology. This risks inefficient resource allocation if these analyses are used when planning and budgeting FMD control programmes in endemic contexts.

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