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Challenges and Opportunities Developing Mathematical Models of Shared Pathogens of Domestic and Wild Animals

Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
U.S. Geological Survey, National Wildlife Health Center, Madison, WI 53711, USA
Center for Epidemiology and Animal Health, United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Fort Collins, CO 80526, USA
Department of Veterinary Population Medicine, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN 55108, USA
U.S. Geological Survey, Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center, Bozeman, MT 59715, USA
European Commission for the Control of Foot-and-Mouth Disease—Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 00153 Roma RM, Italy
Livestock Poultry Health Division, Clemson University, Columbia, SC 29224, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(4), 92;
Received: 1 August 2018 / Revised: 4 October 2018 / Accepted: 18 October 2018 / Published: 30 October 2018
Diseases that affect both wild and domestic animals can be particularly difficult to prevent, predict, mitigate, and control. Such multi-host diseases can have devastating economic impacts on domestic animal producers and can present significant challenges to wildlife populations, particularly for populations of conservation concern. Few mathematical models exist that capture the complexities of these multi-host pathogens, yet the development of such models would allow us to estimate and compare the potential effectiveness of management actions for mitigating or suppressing disease in wildlife and/or livestock host populations. We conducted a workshop in March 2014 to identify the challenges associated with developing models of pathogen transmission across the wildlife-livestock interface. The development of mathematical models of pathogen transmission at this interface is hampered by the difficulties associated with describing the host-pathogen systems, including: (1) the identity of wildlife hosts, their distributions, and movement patterns; (2) the pathogen transmission pathways between wildlife and domestic animals; (3) the effects of the disease and concomitant mitigation efforts on wild and domestic animal populations; and (4) barriers to communication between sectors. To promote the development of mathematical models of transmission at this interface, we recommend further integration of modern quantitative techniques and improvement of communication among wildlife biologists, mathematical modelers, veterinary medicine professionals, producers, and other stakeholders concerned with the consequences of pathogen transmission at this important, yet poorly understood, interface. View Full-Text
Keywords: livestock; modeling; poultry; transmission; wildlife; wildlife-livestock diseases livestock; modeling; poultry; transmission; wildlife; wildlife-livestock diseases
MDPI and ACS Style

Huyvaert, K.P.; Russell, R.E.; Patyk, K.A.; Craft, M.E.; Cross, P.C.; Garner, M.G.; Martin, M.K.; Nol, P.; Walsh, D.P. Challenges and Opportunities Developing Mathematical Models of Shared Pathogens of Domestic and Wild Animals. Vet. Sci. 2018, 5, 92.

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