In the past decade the advent of Aujeszky's disease (AD) vaccines which through the deletion of specific genes allow for discrimination between vaccinated and infected pigs has increased the interest in vaccination/eradication strategies. Within the EC the existence of AD-endemic areas as well as areas free from AD, points to the need for integrated strategies for control and eradication of AD in order to enable free animal trade between the member countries.
The project aims at documenting field experience of the use of gIdeleted vaccines in pig-dense, ADendemic areas.
Work is being done to evaluate integrated strategies for control and eradication of Aujeszky's disease in the European Community and thus facilitate free trade in animals between member countries. Distinguishing between vaccinated and infected pigs is now possible through the use of gl-deleted vaccines. The study covers 3 regions which exhibit variations of herd structure and meteorological conditions, namely, areas in north Federal Republic of Germany, South Denmark and the Netherlands.
To evaluate the prevalence of seropositive herds to Aujeszky's disease, 10775, 15564 and 20380 blood samples were tested from the German, Danish and Dutch areas respectively. 4 incident cases occurred during the first year of the project, 3 in Germany and one in the Netherlands. A preliminary epidemiological evaluation has been made of each case. To facilitate estimation of financial and economic costs of Aujeszky's disease, financial data was collected from farms with the epidemiological data. In order to collect financial data at the national and area level from all the Member States, an extensive list of key variables was developed. 2 meterological models have been developed and tested. Data has been collected from 4 meterological stations in the German and Danish project areas.
Optimal procedures for suppressing the occurrence of field virus in endemic regions will be identified and problem areas in herd and regional eradication programmes will be investigated. The mechanisms governing airborne spread of AD will be defined and the importance of airborne spread of AD as a threat to a successful eradication programme will be quantified. Thus the protective efficacy of a buffer zone vaccination strategy will be evaluated. Finally, a full economic assessment of the implications of the disease and the vaccination programmes at the herd and the regional level to the agricultural sector in the project areas and in a wider EC context will be carried out.
The multidisciplinary methodology developed during and tested in the project will be applicable in a Community- wide context in the design and assessment of disease control/eradication schemes that are technically and economically effective.
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