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Researchers Use Computer Modeling to Assess Risk of Disease Transmission Through Vehicle Movements
Dr. Megan Niederwerder - Swine Health Information Center

Farmscape for February 1, 2023

Researchers with North Carolina State University are examining the risks of swine disease transmission associated with the movement of swine transport vehicles.
North Carolina State University in partnership with the Swine Health Information Center has launched a one-year project to assess and address the risk of disease transmission from farm to farm associated with the movement of swine transport vehicles.
Swine Health Information Center Associate Director Dr. Megan Niederwerder explains researchers have developed a computer modeling technique to track vehicle movements from the farm to the truck wash, from farm to farm and from the truck wash back to the farm.

Clip-Dr. Megan Niederwerder-Swine Health Information Center:
They're looking at this information to understand what's the frequency of those visits, how can we model or look at the risk of certain pathogens being transmitted through this route, so you can imagine a specific pathogen such as PRRS virus or African Swine Fever virus.
Depending on the stability of that virus, you can look at perhaps how long the virus would remain viable on the vehicle during the farm visit and then again what's the risk, if the vehicle is contaminated, of that vehicle serving as a source of pathogen transmission to another farm?
It's really to understand the needs of our industry with regards to transportation serving as a route for disease transmission between farms, looking at ways to mitigate that risk.
If we have all of this identification of vehicle movements between farms as well as the truck washes, we can also say if this vehicle was washed twice the amount of times or frequency, how much would that reduce risk for disease transmission on the vehicle?

Dr. Niederwerder notes the project was launched in May of 2022 and is expected to be completed by May of 2023 at which time a full report, including mitigation strategies to reduce those risks, will be released.
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Bruce Cochrane.

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