Modelling the transmission and vaccination strategy for Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus.
Many aspects of the porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) between-farm transmission dynamics have been investigated, but uncertainty remains about the significance of farm type and different transmission routes on PRRSV spread. We developed a stochastic epidemiological model calibrated on weekly PRRSV outbreaks accounting for the population dynamics in different pig production phases, breeding herds, gilt development units, nurseries and finisher farms, of three hog producer companies. Our model accounted for indirect contacts by the close distance between farms (local transmission), between-farm animal movements (pig flow) and reinfection of sow farms (re-break). The fitted model was used to examine the effectiveness of vaccination strategies and complementary interventions such as enhanced PRRSV detection and vaccination delays and forecast the spatial distribution of PRRSV outbreak. The results of our analysis indicated that for sow farms, 59% of the simulated infections were related to local transmission (e.g. airborne, feed deliveries, shared equipment) whereas 36% and 5% were related to animal movements and re-break, respectively. For nursery farms, 80% of infections were related to animal movements and 20% to local transmission; while at finisher farms, it was split between local transmission and animal movements. Assuming that the current vaccines are 1% effective in mitigating between-farm PRRSV transmission, weaned pigs vaccination would reduce the incidence of PRRSV outbreaks by 3%, indeed under any scenario vaccination alone was insufficient for completely controlling PRRSV spread. Our results also showed that intensifying PRRSV detection and/or vaccination pigs at placement increased the effectiveness of all simulated vaccination strategies. Our model reproduced the incidence and PRRSV spatial distribution; therefore, this model could also be used to map current and future farms at-risk. Finally, this model could be a useful tool for veterinarians, allowing them to identify the effect of transmission routes and different vaccination interventions to control PRRSV spread.