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Understanding disease spread in wildlife-African swin fever in wild boar

Published 2017-02-17

We use the highly contagious African swine fever (ASF) to model disease spread and control in a wildlife population, namely wild boar (WB). ASF threatens to devastate populations of domestic and wild suids. There is insufficient scientific evidence to support any available tools for population management and control of the disease in WB. A strategy for tackling the disease in WB is urgently neededand various various knowledge gaps have been pointed out. The proposed project addresses the most urgent of these and also presents a data-driven model that can serve as a scientific basis for future policy decisions.

Within the project we will

  • Explore the dynamics of the Swedish WB population and assess the feasibility and effects of  interventions.
  • Develop a simulation model that accurately describes disease spread within WB, including spatial constraints and the interactions between groups.
  • Evaluate intervention strategies and extrapolate to the general Swedish WB population.

Diseases in wildlife have become increasingly important and will present new challenges in the coming decades. The recent spread of ASF in Eastern EU presents an immediate threat. In the absence of an effective vaccine, other strategies must be adopted. The current project combines expertise in wildlife, disease control and modelling to address this urgent issue. The project partners represent a unique collaboration towards a common goal, ensuring the transfer of results from science into useful policy.