Individual-based network model for Rift Valley Fever in Kabale District, Uganda, to guide mitigation measures: A One Health Model
Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a zoonotic disease which causes significant morbidity and mortality among ungulate livestock and humans in endemic regions. In the major RVF epizootic regions of East Africa, the causative agent of the disease, Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV), is primarily transmitted by multiple mosquito species in Aedes, Culex, and Mansonia genera during both epizootic and enzootic periods in a complex transmission cycle largely driven by the environment. However, recent RVFV
... recent RVFV activity in Uganda demonstrated that RVFV could also spread into new regions through livestock movements, and underscored the need to develop effective mitigation strategies to reduce transmission and prevent spread among cattle operations. We simulated RVFV transmission among cattle in different sub counties of Kabale District in Uganda using real world livestock data in a network-based model. This model considered livestock as spatially explicit factors in different sub-counties subjected to specific vector mosquito and environmental factors, and was configured to investigate and quantitatively evaluate the relative impacts of mosquito control, livestock movement regulations, and diversity in cattle populations on the spread of the RVF epizootic. We concluded that cattle movement should be restricted during periods of high vector mosquito abundance to control the epizootic spreading among sub-counties. On the other hand we found that mosquito control would only be sufficient to control the epizootic when mosquito abundance was low. Importantly, simulation results also showed that cattle populations with a higher diversity with regard to indigenous combined with exotic breeds led to reduced numbers of infected cattle compared to more homogenous cattle populations.