Boklund A, Toft N, Alban L, Uttenthal A


Comparing the epidemiological and economic effects of control strategies against classical swine fever in Denmark



Publication type



Preventive Veterinary Medicine


2013-06-19 22:21:34+00:00


2016-06-10 18:39:39.253104+00:00













Extended information


In 2006, total Danish pork exports were valued at s3.8 billion, corresponding to approximately 5% of the total Danish exports, and an outbreak of a notifiable disease would have dramatic consequences for the agricultural sector in Denmark. Several outbreaks of classical swine fever (CSF) have occurred in Europe within the last decade, and different control strategies have been suggested. The objective of this study was to simulate the epidemiological and economic consequences of such control strategies in a CSF epidemic under Danish conditions with respect to herd demographics and geography and to investigate the effect of extra biosecurity measures on farms. We used InterSpread Plus to model the effect of nine different control strategies: the minimum measures required by the EU plus depopulation of contact herds (EUplus), extra depopulation of neighbouring herds, extra surveillance within the protection and surveillance zones, extra biosecurity in SPF herds—or in all herds, vaccination of all pigs in the 1 or 2 km zones using live vaccine as a protective measure (vaccination-to-kill), vaccination of all weaners and finishers in the 1 or 2 km zones using an E2 marker vaccine as a suppressive measure (vaccination-to-live). Each epidemic was simulated to start in four different index herds: production herds located in low, medium and high pig density areas, respectively; and a nucleus herd in an area of high pig density. For each control strategy and index case, we calculated the size and duration of the epidemic, the number of depopulated and/or vaccinated herds and animals, the control costs borne by the public and the pig industry, respectively, as well as the loss of exports associated with the epidemic.

The simulations showed that the EUplus strategy is the most effective of the evaluated strategies with respect to limiting the size, duration and cost of the epidemic, regardless of the index case. However, regarding the number of slaughtered animals, the vaccination-tolive strategies appeared to be more effective.

Epidemics become larger and last longer if the index case is a nucleus herd. This implies that biosecurity in nucleus herds is extremely important to avoid transmission of CSF to these herds.

Simulations showed that a Danish CSF epidemic will be moderate in most cases and will include fewer than 10 cases and last less than 2 weeks on average. However, for some iterations, long-lasting and large epidemics were observed. Irrespective of the size and duration, an epidemic is expected to be very costly due to the export losses.