Estimating epidemiological parameters for bovine tuberculosis in British cattle using a Bayesian partial-likelihood approach

O'Hare, A., Orton, R. J. , Bessell, P. R. and Kao, R. R. (2014) Estimating epidemiological parameters for bovine tuberculosis in British cattle using a Bayesian partial-likelihood approach. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences, 281(1783), p. 20140248. (doi:10.1098/rspb.2014.0248)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2014.0248

Abstract

Fitting models with Bayesian likelihood-based parameter inference is becoming increasingly important in infectious disease epidemiology. Detailed datasets present the opportunity to identify subsets of these data that capture important characteristics of the underlying epidemiology. One such dataset describes the epidemic of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) in British cattle, which is also an important exemplar of a disease with a wildlife reservoir (the Eurasian badger). Here, we evaluate a set of nested dynamic models of bTB transmission, including individual- and herd-level transmission heterogeneity and assuming minimal prior knowledge of the transmission and diagnostic test parameters. We performed a likelihood-based bootstrapping operation on the model to infer parameters based only on the recorded numbers of cattle testing positive for bTB at the start of each herd outbreak considering high- and low-risk areas separately. Models without herd heterogeneity are preferred in both areas though there is some evidence for super-spreading cattle. Similar to previous studies, we found low test sensitivities and high within-herd basic reproduction numbers (R0), suggesting that there may be many unobserved infections in cattle, even though the current testing regime is sufficient to control within-herd epidemics in most cases. Compared with other, more data-heavy approaches, the summary data used in our approach are easily collected, making our approach attractive for other systems.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:O'Hare, Dr Anthony and Kao, Professor Rowland and Bessell, Dr Paul and Orton, Dr Richard
Authors: O'Hare, A., Orton, R. J., Bessell, P. R., and Kao, R. R.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
Journal Name:Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences
Publisher:The Royal Society
ISSN:0962-8452
ISSN (Online):1471-2954
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2014 The Authors
First Published:First published in Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences 281(1783):20140248
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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