Population dynamics of a scrapie outbreak

Matthews, L., Coen, P.G., Foster, J.D., Hunter, N. and Woolhouse, M.E.J. (2001) Population dynamics of a scrapie outbreak. Archives of Virology, 146(6), pp. 1173-1186. (doi: 10.1007/s007050170113)

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A detailed analysis of a scrapie outbreak in a flock of Cheviot sheep is described. A total of 33 cases of 1473 sheep born to the flock were reported between 1985 and 1994. The epidemiology of scrapie can only be understood with reference to sheep demography, the population genetics of susceptibility to scrapie, pathogenesis during a long incubation period, and the rate of transmission (by both horizontal and vertical routes), all of which interact in complex ways. In recent work a mathematical model incorporating these elements was developed and successfully reproduced key features of an earlier outbreak of scrapie in this flock. Here an application of the model to the second outbreak is described. The model accurately reproduces observed allele frequencies and total numbers of susceptible animals remaining at the end of the outbreak. A major difference between the two outbreaks is the very much lower force of infection in the second outbreak. This provided additional information which suggested two ways in which our existing assumptions be refined; firstly, older animals have reduced susceptibility to scrapie and secondly, homozygous and heterozygous susceptibles have different incubation periods.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Matthews, Professor Louise
Authors: Matthews, L., Coen, P.G., Foster, J.D., Hunter, N., and Woolhouse, M.E.J.
Subjects:S Agriculture > SF Animal culture > SF600 Veterinary Medicine
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:Archives of Virology
ISSN (Online):1432-8798

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