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Epidemiological modelling of foot and mouth disease control in cattle: incorporating time and spatial spread of disease dynamics.

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Foot and mouth disease (FMD) is a contagious animal viral infection that can spread rapidly if the disease is not monitored and controlled. Therefore, protecting livestock and controlling foot and mouth disease is important for preventing economic losses. Much of the global burden of economic losses due to foot and mouth disease falls on the worlds poorest countries that mostly depend upon the health of their livestock. In these countries, the availability of FMD also has an impact on the overall herd fertility, modifying the herd structure and affecting the selection of breeds. Modelling the dynamics of FMD using mathematical analysis and simulations can assist to monitor and control the spread of the disease. In this thesis, we develop, study, and analyse models of foot and mouth disease in cattle by incorporate vaccination that does not induce rapid protection, time delays, both time and spatial spread with different control strategies. The results show that even though vaccines may not induce rapid protection the combining of a high rate of vaccination and low loss of vaccine protection rate may be successful in reducing the foot and mouth burden provided critical vaccination thresholds are taken into consideration. The results also show that control strategies play a significant role in moving the animals into protected routes of infection than leaving more animals into the unprotected route of infection. We also capture the effects of prophylactic vaccination, reactive vaccination, prophylactic treatment, reactive culling and the effects of time delay. The results of foot and mouth disease with two-time delays show that the burden of infection decreases significantly when unprotected animals delay maximally their time to show clinical symptoms, and at the same time by increasing the effectiveness of the control strategies. The study also explores the effects of spatial diffusion, quarantine of clinically infected animals and shedding of foot and mouth disease virus into the environment. Analysis of foot and mouth disease control models suggests that implementing of an effective combination of control strategies, limiting the movement of susceptible animals and the shedding of FMDV protects animals from foot and mouth disease burden.


Doctoral Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg.