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Risk profiling of cattle farms as a potential tool in risk-based surveillance for Mycobacterium bovis infection among cattle in tuberculosis-free areas

Joao Ribeiro-LimaDepartment of Veterinary Population Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota, Saint Paul, MN 55108.

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Stacey SchwabenlanderMinnesota Board of Animal Health, 625 Robert St N, Saint Paul, MN 55155.

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Michael OakesDivision of Epidemiology and Community Health, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55454.

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Beth ThompsonMinnesota Board of Animal Health, 625 Robert St N, Saint Paul, MN 55155.

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Scott J. WellsDepartment of Veterinary Population Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota, Saint Paul, MN 55108.

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE To develop a cattle herd risk-profiling system that could potentially inform risk-based surveillance strategies for Mycobacterium bovis infection in cattle and provide information that could be used to help direct resource allocation by a state agency for this purpose.

DESIGN Cross-sectional study.

SAMPLE Records for any size movement (importation) of cattle into Minnesota from other US states during 2009 (n = 7,185) and 2011 (8,107).

PROCEDURES Data from certificates of veterinary inspection were entered into a spreadsheet. Movement data were summarized at premises and county levels, and for each level, the distribution of cattle moved and number of movements were evaluated. Risk profiling (assessment and categorization of risk for disease introduction) for each import movement was performed on the basis of known risk factors. Latent class analysis was used to assign movements to risk classifications with adjustment on the basis of expert opinions from personnel knowledgeable about bovine tuberculosis; these data were used to classify premises as very high, high, medium, or low risk for disease introduction.

RESULTS In each year, approximately 1,500 premises imported cattle, typically beef and feeder types, with the peak of import movements during the fall season. The risk model identified 4 risk classes for cattle movements. Approximately 500 of the estimated 27,406 (2%) cattle premises in Minnesota were in the very high or high risk groups for either year; greatest density of these premises was in the southeast and southwest regions of the state.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE A risk-profiling approach was developed that can be applied in targeted surveillance efforts for bovine tuberculosis, particularly in disease-free areas.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To develop a cattle herd risk-profiling system that could potentially inform risk-based surveillance strategies for Mycobacterium bovis infection in cattle and provide information that could be used to help direct resource allocation by a state agency for this purpose.

DESIGN Cross-sectional study.

SAMPLE Records for any size movement (importation) of cattle into Minnesota from other US states during 2009 (n = 7,185) and 2011 (8,107).

PROCEDURES Data from certificates of veterinary inspection were entered into a spreadsheet. Movement data were summarized at premises and county levels, and for each level, the distribution of cattle moved and number of movements were evaluated. Risk profiling (assessment and categorization of risk for disease introduction) for each import movement was performed on the basis of known risk factors. Latent class analysis was used to assign movements to risk classifications with adjustment on the basis of expert opinions from personnel knowledgeable about bovine tuberculosis; these data were used to classify premises as very high, high, medium, or low risk for disease introduction.

RESULTS In each year, approximately 1,500 premises imported cattle, typically beef and feeder types, with the peak of import movements during the fall season. The risk model identified 4 risk classes for cattle movements. Approximately 500 of the estimated 27,406 (2%) cattle premises in Minnesota were in the very high or high risk groups for either year; greatest density of these premises was in the southeast and southwest regions of the state.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE A risk-profiling approach was developed that can be applied in targeted surveillance efforts for bovine tuberculosis, particularly in disease-free areas.

Contributor Notes

Dr. Ribeiro-Lima's present address is Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária, Universidade Lusófona de Humanidades e Tecnologias, 1749-024 Lisboa, Portugal.

Address correspondence to Dr. Ribeiro-Lima (jlima@umn.edu).