WIN EPISCOPE 2.0: improved epidemiological software for veterinary medicine

Division of Ruminant Health Care , Utrecht University, Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands
The Veterinary record (Impact Factor: 1.49). 06/2001; 148(18):567-72. DOI: 10.1136/vr.148.18.567
Source: PubMed


Recent changes in veterinary medicine have required quantitative epidemiological techniques for designing field surveys, identifying risk factors for multifactorial diseases, and assessing diagnostic tests. Several relevant techniques are brought together in the package of veterinary epidemiological computer software, WIN EPISCOPE 2.0, described in this paper. It is based on Microsoft Windows and includes modules for the design and analysis of field surveys, control campaigns and observational studies, and a simple mathematical model. It provides comprehensive 'Help' screens and should therefore be useful not only in field investigations but also for teaching veterinary epidemiology.

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    • "Sample size was calculated to detect a 25% difference in BRD incidence between calves with more or less than 10 g Ig/L (25% vs. 50%), with 95% confidence and 80% power (Winepiscope 2.0., Thrusfield et al., 2001). For a two-tailed test 56 animals within each group were needed. "
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    ABSTRACT: Failure of passive transfer is a common problem in calves destined for veal production. At present it is unknown whether the risk for respiratory disease (BRD) or neonatal calf diarrhea (NCD) in the veal herd is associated with total immunoglobulin (Ig) and/or on the serostatus for respiratory pathogens measured at arrival. Therefore, the first objective of this prospective longitudinal cohort study was to determine associations between serum protein fractions as determined by routine electrophoresis (total protein, albumin, alpha-1 and -2 globulins, beta-globulins and Ig's) at arrival and BRD and NCD in the first 3 weeks of the production cycle. The second objective was to determine whether the serostatus (seropositive/seronegative) of seven respiratory pathogens (bovine respiratory syncytial virus (BRSV), parainfluenzavirus-3, bovine coronavirus (BCV), bovine herpesvirus-1, bovine viral diarrhea virus, Mannheimia haemolytica and Mycoplasma bovis) of these arrival serum samples could be associated with the risk of having BRD. The third objective was to determine which of the electrophoresis proteins and respiratory serostatuses were associated with average daily gain (ADG) in the study period. The study population consisted of 150 rosé veal calves housed in a single air-space. The study period ended at day 18 post arrival, when BRD incidence was judged to be too high to further postpone a group treatment. A Cox regression model was used to determine the effect of the studied protein fractions and antibodies on the time to BRD and NCD occurrence. The effect of the studied predictors on ADG was determined by linear regression. Calves with Ig levels under 7.5g/L had an increased BRD hazard (hazard ratio (HR)=1.9 (95% confidence interval (CI)=1.2-3.0)). NCD was only positively associated with the alpha-2 globulin concentration. Calves with a negative serostatus for BCV (HR=1.7 (95% CI=1.0-2.8)) or BRSV (HR=2.0 (95% CI=1.0-3.9)) had an increased BRD hazard. Average daily gain (ADG) was 0.242kg/day (SD=0.142) and was not related to the occurrence of BRD or NCD. Calves with Ig's below 7.5g/L and with increased levels of alpha-2 globulins showed a decrease in ADG. This study showed the importance of providing sufficient colostrum to veal calves and the potential benefit of the presence of BCV and BRSV antibodies at arrival to reduce the BRD hazard in the first 3 weeks. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2015 · Preventive Veterinary Medicine
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    • "The TST scheme in the four surveyed sheep farms was evaluated by calculate (total and percentage) of: (a) Ewes assessed by the TST scheme in period, (b) Events assessed by the TST scheme in the period, where each ewe contributed with 1–12 events, (c) Events showing FAMACHA© 4 or 5, (d) Events with BCS 1 or 2, (e) Faecal sampling events, and (f) Deworming events (EPG ≥ 750), (g) Frequencies of ewes treated with AH drugs, which included from 0 to more than 4 times. Finally, the sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV) and negative predictive value (NPV) of FAMACHA© scores 4 or 5 and the BCS 1 or 2 to detect animals with EPG ≥ 750, were estimated with 2 × 2 contingency tables with the computational package Win Episcope 2.0 (Thrusfield et al., 2001). The latter was generated for each farm and for general data of all farms. "
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    ABSTRACT: This study estimated the frequency of anthelmintic (AH) treatments in sheep from commercial flocks using a targeted selective treatment scheme based on FAMACHA©, body condition score (BCS) and faecal egg counts (FEC) in a hot and humid tropical area. An initial survey of the faecal material of adult hair-sheep ewes (n = 401) from four farms showed a high proportion of ewes with zero eggs per gram of faeces (EPG) (32.7 to 61.0%), an over-dispersed distribution of EPG (skewness from 2.32 to 5.67) and a small proportion of ewes excreting ≥750 EPG (from 9.2 to 25.0%) or ≥1000 EPG (from 5.0 to 19.6%). The TST scheme included 918 ewes inspected individually every two weeks over a six-month period (rainy season). Ewes with FAMACHA© 4,5 and BCS 1,2 scores were faecal sampled to estimate the number of GIN eggs per gram of faeces (EPG). Ewes with EPG ≥750 were dewormed. From the 981 ewes evaluated monthly, 65.5% did not require any AH treatment. The proportion of ewes requiring a single AH treatment was 17.8%. Meanwhile, 8.3% required two, 4.5% three, and 3.9% four or more AH treatments. Variability of sensitivity and specificity suggested that either FAMACHA© 4-5, BCS 1-2 or BCS 1 alone were not good enough to predict which ewes had a GIN egg excretion ≥750 EPG. Faecal examination remained essential to identify animals with significant GIN infections. Thus, the combination of FAMACHA©, BCS and EPG helped to avoid unnecessary AH treatments of anaemic or emaciated ewes with negligible GIN infections. The TST scheme suggested that few ewes require an AH treatment under the warm, humid tropical conditions of Tabasco, Mexico. Thus, current monthly mass AH treatment of all ewes seems unnecessary.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2015 · Small Ruminant Research
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    • "A priori one tailed sample size calculations were performed using Win EpiScope 2.0 (Thrusfield et al., 2001) based on detecting a difference in the 6 week in-calf rate in the treatment group relative to the actively monitored control group. No account was taken of clustering of herd years within herd. "
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to quantify the effect of participation by New Zealand dairy farmers in a year-long extension programme designed to improve herd reproductive performance. This was estimated by comparing, over two successive years, the proportions of cows becoming pregnant during the first 6 weeks of the seasonal breeding programme (6 week in-calf rate) in herds involved in a full participation group (treatment), with herds in an actively monitored control group or a passively monitored control group. Possible interactions between treatment and various biophysical and socio-demographic factors were also assessed. Multivariable modelling was used to determine the effect of treatment on 6 week in-calf rate, adjusting for design factors (study year and region). It was estimated that the 6 week in-calf rate was 68% (95% confidence interval 65–67%) in the treatment group of farms that participated in the extension programme compared with 66% (95% confidence interval 67–69%) in the actively monitored control group of farms that did not participate in the extension programme (P = 0.05); thus the risk difference was 2.0% (95% confidence interval 0.0–3.9%). No significant interactions were found between treatment and region, study year or any of the biophysical and socio-demographic variables on the 6 week in-calf rate (P > 0.05). There was no significant difference in the 6 week in-calf rate between the actively and passively monitored control groups (P = 0.56). It was concluded that enrolment in the extension programme improved the 6 week in-calf rate, and that the treatment effect was not modified substantially by region, study year or any of the biophysical and socio-demographic variables assessed.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2015 · The Veterinary Journal
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