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Patterns of between-farm contacts via professionals in Sweden.

Olofsson E, Nöremark M, Lewerin SS - Acta Vet. Scand. (2014)

Bottom Line: There were twelve participating organisations, and data was provided for one to three individuals/vehicles/veterinary practices per professional category and per geographic region (except for dairy service technicians and livestock hauliers who did not provide data from all regions).Valuable insight into the travel patterns of Swedish professionals has emerged although the implications of the study largely concern highly infectious diseases.The difficulties in contacting some professionals visiting farms could be a problem in an outbreak situation.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Background: Infectious diseases of livestock have negative consequences for animal production as well as animal health and welfare and can be transmitted between farms via direct (live animal movements) as well as indirect (via physical vectors such as, people, transport vehicles and fomites) contacts. The objective of the study was to examine the travel patterns of professionals visiting Swedish farms (veterinarians, milk tanker drivers, artificial inseminators, maintenance technicians and livestock hauliers). This was done by obtaining records of the farms visited by a sample of professionals in the above categories in one week in January, one week in April, one week in July and one week in October in the Swedish counties Västerbotten, Södermanland, Västergötland and Skåne.

Results: There were twelve participating organisations, and data was provided for one to three individuals/vehicles/veterinary practices per professional category and per geographic region (except for dairy service technicians and livestock hauliers who did not provide data from all regions). There was a trend towards larger areas covered and smaller number of farms visited per week in the north, but exceptions occurred and there were regional variations. Generally, the greatest areas were travelled by milk tankers and livestock hauliers, and the profession travelling over the smallest areas tended to be the veterinarians. Milk tankers visited most farms per week, one milk tanker could visit between 23 and 90 farms per week and travel over areas between 717 km² and 23,512 km² per week.

Conclusions: Valuable insight into the travel patterns of Swedish professionals has emerged although the implications of the study largely concern highly infectious diseases. Movement of live animals pose the greatest risk for the spread of infectious animal diseases; however indirect contacts are important for many diseases. The results of this study indicate that in Sweden a highly contagious disease might spread over a large area in the time span of one incubation period, which ought to be kept in mind in case of an outbreak and in outbreak investigations. The difficulties in contacting some professionals visiting farms could be a problem in an outbreak situation.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Geographic area travelled by Swedish veterinarians, per veterinary practice and week. Travel area of Swedish veterinarians employed at eight mixed practices in 2012 and 2013 as reported in Vet@Journal, scale 1: 7 500 000. Time periods depicted: 8 – 14 October, 2012: yellow; 7 –13 January, 2013: black; 8 – 14 April, 2013: red; 8 – 14 July, 2013: brown.
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Fig1: Geographic area travelled by Swedish veterinarians, per veterinary practice and week. Travel area of Swedish veterinarians employed at eight mixed practices in 2012 and 2013 as reported in Vet@Journal, scale 1: 7 500 000. Time periods depicted: 8 – 14 October, 2012: yellow; 7 –13 January, 2013: black; 8 – 14 April, 2013: red; 8 – 14 July, 2013: brown.

Mentions: The organisations choosing to participate were asked to provide either the addresses or the unique identities of the holdings visited by at least one employee (or, in the case of the dairy companies, at least one milk tanker and one driver) on each day during the following periods: 8–14 October 2012, 7–13 January 2013, 8–14 April 2013 and 8–14 July 2013. These periods were chosen to be as representative as possible of all four agricultural seasons in all selected counties. If the participants were unable to provide this information, other alternatives discussed included postal addresses or number of farms visited and distance driven each day. The geographic areas chosen were Västerbotten (in the north of Sweden), Södermanland (in the southeast of Sweden), Västergötland (in the southwest of Sweden) and Skåne (in the very south of Sweden), see Figure 1. The geographical regions were chosen to represent different regions with different livestock population structure and because previous studies with a similar focus were carried out in these regions [20,30]. The farms of interest were farms with cattle, pigs, sheep and goats.Figure 1


Patterns of between-farm contacts via professionals in Sweden.

Olofsson E, Nöremark M, Lewerin SS - Acta Vet. Scand. (2014)

Geographic area travelled by Swedish veterinarians, per veterinary practice and week. Travel area of Swedish veterinarians employed at eight mixed practices in 2012 and 2013 as reported in Vet@Journal, scale 1: 7 500 000. Time periods depicted: 8 – 14 October, 2012: yellow; 7 –13 January, 2013: black; 8 – 14 April, 2013: red; 8 – 14 July, 2013: brown.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4222379&req=5

Fig1: Geographic area travelled by Swedish veterinarians, per veterinary practice and week. Travel area of Swedish veterinarians employed at eight mixed practices in 2012 and 2013 as reported in Vet@Journal, scale 1: 7 500 000. Time periods depicted: 8 – 14 October, 2012: yellow; 7 –13 January, 2013: black; 8 – 14 April, 2013: red; 8 – 14 July, 2013: brown.
Mentions: The organisations choosing to participate were asked to provide either the addresses or the unique identities of the holdings visited by at least one employee (or, in the case of the dairy companies, at least one milk tanker and one driver) on each day during the following periods: 8–14 October 2012, 7–13 January 2013, 8–14 April 2013 and 8–14 July 2013. These periods were chosen to be as representative as possible of all four agricultural seasons in all selected counties. If the participants were unable to provide this information, other alternatives discussed included postal addresses or number of farms visited and distance driven each day. The geographic areas chosen were Västerbotten (in the north of Sweden), Södermanland (in the southeast of Sweden), Västergötland (in the southwest of Sweden) and Skåne (in the very south of Sweden), see Figure 1. The geographical regions were chosen to represent different regions with different livestock population structure and because previous studies with a similar focus were carried out in these regions [20,30]. The farms of interest were farms with cattle, pigs, sheep and goats.Figure 1

Bottom Line: There were twelve participating organisations, and data was provided for one to three individuals/vehicles/veterinary practices per professional category and per geographic region (except for dairy service technicians and livestock hauliers who did not provide data from all regions).Valuable insight into the travel patterns of Swedish professionals has emerged although the implications of the study largely concern highly infectious diseases.The difficulties in contacting some professionals visiting farms could be a problem in an outbreak situation.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Background: Infectious diseases of livestock have negative consequences for animal production as well as animal health and welfare and can be transmitted between farms via direct (live animal movements) as well as indirect (via physical vectors such as, people, transport vehicles and fomites) contacts. The objective of the study was to examine the travel patterns of professionals visiting Swedish farms (veterinarians, milk tanker drivers, artificial inseminators, maintenance technicians and livestock hauliers). This was done by obtaining records of the farms visited by a sample of professionals in the above categories in one week in January, one week in April, one week in July and one week in October in the Swedish counties Västerbotten, Södermanland, Västergötland and Skåne.

Results: There were twelve participating organisations, and data was provided for one to three individuals/vehicles/veterinary practices per professional category and per geographic region (except for dairy service technicians and livestock hauliers who did not provide data from all regions). There was a trend towards larger areas covered and smaller number of farms visited per week in the north, but exceptions occurred and there were regional variations. Generally, the greatest areas were travelled by milk tankers and livestock hauliers, and the profession travelling over the smallest areas tended to be the veterinarians. Milk tankers visited most farms per week, one milk tanker could visit between 23 and 90 farms per week and travel over areas between 717 km² and 23,512 km² per week.

Conclusions: Valuable insight into the travel patterns of Swedish professionals has emerged although the implications of the study largely concern highly infectious diseases. Movement of live animals pose the greatest risk for the spread of infectious animal diseases; however indirect contacts are important for many diseases. The results of this study indicate that in Sweden a highly contagious disease might spread over a large area in the time span of one incubation period, which ought to be kept in mind in case of an outbreak and in outbreak investigations. The difficulties in contacting some professionals visiting farms could be a problem in an outbreak situation.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus