Free Access
Vet. Res.
Volume 36, Number 5-6, September-December 2005
Page(s) 699 - 712
How to cite this article Vet. Res. (2005) 699-712
Vet. Res. 36 (2005) 699-712
DOI: 10.1051/vetres:2005025

Modeling spatial and temporal transmission of foot-and-mouth disease in France: identification of high-risk areas

Arnaud LeMenach, Judith Legrand, Rebecca F. Grais, Cécile Viboud, Alain-Jacques Valleron and Antoine Flahault

INSERM Unité 444, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Épidémiologie et Sciences de l'Information Biomédicale, 27 rue Chaligny, 75012 Paris, France

(Received 6 April 2004; accepted 10 February 2005)

Abstract - Foot-and-mouth disease is one of the most contagious diseases of animal livestock. We used statistical tools to explore the dynamics of epidemics and to evaluate the consequences of virus reintroduction in France. We developed a stochastic farm-based model adapted to the French farm structure from previous modeling works following the 2001 epidemic in the United Kingdom. This model depends upon the distance between the 280 000 French farms and on species type (e.g. cows and sheep) and it tracks each animal's farm status at any given day. Since data were only available at the town scale, the farm location and the number of animals in each farm were simulated over the surface area of each French town, as well as the number of mixed farms. Based on 200 simulations of the model, our results allowed for the study of local disease transmission, since it begins simulations once limitation of movement is put into place. On average, the same 50 randomly chosen initially infected farms would lead to 1 110 infected farms (610; 1 590) when two control strategies (culling within 0.5 km from an infected farm and vaccination within 3 km) are put into place. Regions with high densities of cows and sheep (e.g. Pays-de-la-Loire) are high-risk zones, confirming that the epidemic process depends upon the location and the type of initially infected farms (size, species type). The results of this model highlight the importance of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to obtain more precise data concerning herds.

Key words: foot-and-mouth disease / France / spatial heterogeneity / high risk zone / simulation

Corresponding author: Arnaud LeMenach

© INRA, EDP Sciences 2005