Indexed on: 24 May '14Published on: 24 May '14Published in: Journal of Theoretical Biology
Previous mathematical models of spatial farm-to-farm transmission of foot and mouth disease (FMD) have explored the impacts of control measures such as culling and vaccination during a single outbreak in a country normally free of FMD. As a result, these models do not include factors that are relevant to countries where FMD is endemic in some regions, like long-term waning natural and vaccine immunity, use of prophylactic vaccination and disease re-importations. These factors may have implications for disease dynamics and control, yet few models have been developed for FMD-endemic settings. Here we develop and study an SEIRV (susceptible-exposed-infectious-recovered-vaccinated) pair approximation model of FMD. We focus on long term dynamics by exploring characteristics of repeated outbreaks of FMD and their dependence on disease re-importation, loss of natural immunity, and vaccine waning. We find that the effectiveness of ring and prophylactic vaccination strongly depends on duration of natural immunity, rate of vaccine waning, and disease re-introduction rate. However, the number and magnitude of FMD outbreaks are generally more sensitive to the duration of natural immunity than the duration of vaccine immunity. If loss of natural immunity and/or vaccine waning happen rapidly, then multiple epidemic outbreaks result, making it difficult to eliminate the disease. Prophylactic vaccination is more effective than ring vaccination, at the same per capita vaccination rate. Finally, more frequent disease re-importation causes a higher cumulative number of infections, although a lower average epidemic peak. Our analysis demonstrates significant differences between dynamics in FMD-free settings versus FMD-endemic settings, and that dynamics in FMD-endemic settings can vary widely depending on factors such as the duration of natural and vaccine immunity and the rate of disease re-importations. We conclude that more mathematical models tailored to FMD-endemic countries should be developed that include these factors.