Evaluation of the effectiveness of the surveillance system for tuberculosis in cattle in Spain
Pérez de Val, Bernat
Saéz, José Luis
In Spain, the eradication of tuberculosis (TB) in cattle has had some setbacks and therefore we need to re-evaluate the current surveillance strategies. The Spanish cattle TB surveillance system consists of three components: a) routine skin testing, b) slaughterhouse surveillance, and c) pre-movement controls. Our objectives were to assess the effectiveness of the whole surveillance system and evaluate the relative contribution of each of those components, both at national and at the province level. The effectiveness was estimated based on both the sensitivity of detection per year and the time until detection. Moreover, we evaluated the impact of different factors on that effectiveness. We used a stochastic model that simulated the spread of Mycobacterium tuberculosis-complex (MTC) infection within cattle herds that was modified to incorporate the three components of TB surveillance. Input data, at the province level, on cattle movements off-farm or the frequency of the routine screening were provided by the Spanish Ministry for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. Under the current conditions, 96.1% of Spanish herds were detected within one year after their infection (i.e. mean sensitivity of TB surveillance), although that detection took on average 178 days. The surveillance system effectiveness was highly dependent on the routine skin testing, responsible for the detection of almost 90% of the infected herds, while slaughterhouse surveillance and pre-movement controls contributed only to the identification of a small proportion of infected herds. We observed substantial differences in the effectiveness of the surveillance components among Spanish provinces, although in general, the sensitivities were high. The most influential factor on the efficiency of TB detection in Spain was, by far, the frequency of routine controls, followed by the sensitivity of the test used. In a context of reduced funding for cattle TB eradication, the frequency of testing should be adapted based on risk-based surveillance strategies, i.e. efforts should focus on herds more likely to be infected, but also in herds more likely to infect other herds. While slaughterhouse surveillance seems a cost-effective strategy, the use of pre-movement testing at least in areas of low incidence should be further evaluated.
619 - Veterinària
Is part of
Preventive Veterinary Medicine
Napp, Sebastian, Giovanna Ciaravino, Bernat Pérez de Val, Jordi Casal, José Luis Saéz, and Ana Alba. 2019. "Evaluation Of The Effectiveness Of The Surveillance System For Tuberculosis In Cattle In Spain". Preventive Veterinary Medicine 173: 104805. Elsevier BV. doi:10.1016/j.prevetmed.2019.104805.
Grant agreement number
MINECO/Programa Estatal de I+D+I orientada a los retos de la sociedad/AGL2013-49159-C2-1-R/ES/Epidemiologia de la tuberculosis bovina en España: factores de riesgo, aspectos sociológicos, implicación de otras especies domésticas y eficacia de las medidas de control/
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- ARTICLES CIENTÍFICS 
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