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Examining the Effect of Host Recruitment Rates on the Transmission of Streptococcus suis in Nursery Swine Populations

Streptococcus suis is a swine pathogen that is capable of causing severe outbreaks of disease in the nursery. Demographic parameters such as host recruitment rates can have profound effects on the transmission dynamics of infectious diseases and, thus, are critically important in high-turnover populations such as farmed swine. However, knowledge concerning the implications that such parameters have on S. suis disease control remains unknown. A stochastic mathematical model incorporating sub-clinically infected pigs was developed to capture the effects of changes in host recruitment rate on disease incidence. Compared to our base model scenario, our results show that monthly introduction of pigs into the nursery (instead of weekly introduction) reduced cumulative cases of S. suis by up to 59%, while increasing disease-removal rates alone averted up to 64% of cases. Sensitivity analysis demonstrated that the course of infection in sub-clinically infected pigs was highly influential and generated significant variability in the model outcomes. Our model findings suggest that modifications to host recruitment rates could be leveraged as a tool for S. suis disease control, however improving our understanding of additional factors that influence the risk of transmission would improve the precision of the model estimates.

Giang E, Hetman B, Sargeant J, Poljak Z, Greer A. Examining the effect of host recruitment rates on the transmission of Streptococcus suis in nursery swine populations. Pathogens. 2020 Mar. https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9030174