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Photo of Mathematics and decision-making for Salmonella on UK pig farms

Ben Williams

Knowledge Transfer Senior Manager

AHDB Pork Knowledge Exchange

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Mathematics and decision-making for Salmonella on UK pig farms

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Research partner: University of Liverpool

Sponsor: AHDB Pork-funded studentship (Alexander Berriman)

Duration: 2008 – 2012 

Aims and objectives

  • To improve understanding of the dynamics of Salmonella on UK pig farms via the use of mathematical models
  • To use mathematical models to predict the response of complex systems to change
  • To provide model-based estimates of the likely effects of interventions on overall Salmonella burden
  • To add to the evidence base available to the pig industry for decision-making.

 Findings

  • The models showed that the key drivers of Salmonella transmission were the amount of bacteria shed and the probability of infection after exposure
  • Interventions focusing on these aspects should be implemented to see the most beneficial results
  • The rate at which infection was able to spread when shedding was high was found to be of great importance within the various models; this suggests that solid flooring is a potential risk factor
  • As infection was able to spread quickly within the solid-floored unit, the time interval at which cleaning and disinfection were carried out could be of importance, however this would require further investigation.

 Further information