Economic and epidemiological evaluation of Salmonella control in Dutch dairy herds.
ABSTRACT This paper presents an analysis of a Salmonella control program for Dutch dairy herds. Salmonella control strategies were evaluated using a computer-based model consisting of an epidemiological module and an economics module. The epidemiological module is a state transition model of the infectivity of a herd, with the unit of analysis being the individual farm. The probability of a herd going from one state in the model to another state was derived from biological characteristics of Salmonella infections in dairy herds, and the presence or absence of risk factors. The economics module was based on partial budgeting. Control measures were modeled as influencing the risk factors. Amongst the measures considered were the prohibition of transporting potentially infectious animals and manure to farms, the culling of chronically infected animals, and herd management measures such as separate housing of groups of animal that differ in age. Alternative strategies, both compulsory and obligatory, were defined and evaluated concerning the reduction of prevalence of infected herds, the cost of a strategy, and cost-effectiveness. Results of the model suggested that a compulsory control strategy which included culling chronically infected animals and prohibiting the transport of potentially infected animals reduces the prevalence of Salmonella positive herds considerably, and was most cost-effective. Adding hygienic measures and a ban on the transport of animal manure further reduces prevalence, but only slightly, and with substantially more costs.