African swine fever has for the last couple of years been spreading in the Kaukasus region and has recently spread to Polen and Lithuania, which has increased the probability of introduction to other European countries. Mur et al. (2012) has investigated the risk of introduction of ASF in European countries, and found a high risk in Poland and Germany. Furthermore, Nigsch et al. simulated the spread of ASF in the period from introduction to detection in 27 EU member states (MS), and found a high risk of spread between MS, if ASF were introduced in Denmark.
Therefore, we find it important to investigate the sizes and duration of outbreaks in European countries. Estimations of outbreaks can following be used for preparednes in laboratories in terms of knowledge on needed resource capacity and training of staff.
Dispersal models needed to model spread of exotic diseases are cumbersome to develop and requires close collaboration between modellers, epidemiologists and virologists. The DTU DADS model is a validated published model, that integrates the simulation of epidemiological and economic consequences of introduction, spread and eradication of an exotic disease.
The DTU DADS model is distributed freely between collaborators and provides a scientifically sound and documented (by published papers) model that incoorporates knowledge about location, movement, etc into a modeling framework.
The limited budget of this project makes it difficult to do modelling, if we start from zero. However, to overcome this, we suggest to have individual milestone for different partners, related to different backgrounds in relation to modelling and data needed for the models.
The DTU DADS is developed in Denmark from a Californian model, and therefore very well adapted to the Danish situation. Other countries might have other important needs, based on different structures in the livestock system, or based on other ways of organizing data etc. This can cause needs of adding extra modules to the model. The model requires large amount of data that needs to be prepared, before epidemics can be simulated. Nonetheless, changes can be done to the model to compromise lack of certain data.
Epidemics in wild boar have been modelled before, but seldomly in relation to modelling of epidemics in domestic pigs. It will be necessary to include wild boar in the model, as several partners in the project have a signficant wild boar population.
The SVA have an excellent proposal at their local research council on studying wild boar domestic pig interactions, and the resulst from their study will be used in the model, if possible. To supplement the information obtained from other sources.
The DTU Vet has applied for fundings to simulate spread of ASF by use of the DTU-DADS model before the start of this project. Therefore, hopefully, the model will already be set-up for ASF modelling, when the project start. Furthermore, the SVA are already working with and adapting the DTU-DADS model in an ongoing project for simulating foot-and-mouth disease.
The CVI has a published kernel model for classical swine fever(CSF). However, kernel models work in a very different way with another type of data needs. Kernels are normally based on observed outbreaks. However, as there have been no outbreaks of ASF in the Netherlands, we suggest to use the DTU-DADS to provide outputs that can be used to build infection kernels. These kernels can then be used to model the spread of ASF in the Netherlands.
The French colleagues have not yet worked with the DTU-DADS model. We therefore suggest that they would work on obtaining and preparing data that can be used to simulate the spread of ASF in France or selected regions of France.
This project will strengthen the network between the four partners on simuation modelling, and exchange of knowledge and data will be benefitial for all partners. This might form the basis for heading a joint EU proposal for modelling exotic diseases within and and between countries, simultaneously. Simulation of spread of ASF in Eu has been done before, but only in the period from introduction to detection and without including wild boar.
Furthermore, the outputs from the models can be a basis for ressource calculations and can be used for preparedness in the laboratories.