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Control of endemic swine flu persistence in farrow-to-finish pig farms: a stochastic metapopulation modeling assessment

Abstract : Swine influenza viruses (swIAVs) are known to persist endemically in farrow-to-finish pig farms, leading to repeated swine flu outbreaks in successive batches of pigs at a similar age (mostly around 8 weeks of age). This persistence in European swine herds involves swIAVs from European lineages including H1avN1, H1huN2, H3N2, the 2009 H1N1 pandemic virus and their reassortants. The specific population dynamics of farrow-to-finish pig farms, the immune status of the animals at infection-time, the co-circulation of distinct subtypes leading to consecutive or concomitant infections have been evidenced as factors favouring swIAV persistence within herds. We developed a stochastic metapopulation model representing the co-circulation of two distinct swIAVs within a typical farrow-to-finish pig herd to evaluate the risk of reassortant viruses generation due to co-infection events. Control strategies related to herd management and/or vaccination schemes (batch-to-batch or mass vaccination of the sow herd and vaccination of growing pigs) were implemented to assess their relative efficacy regarding viral persistence. The overall probability of a co-infection event for France, possibly leading to reassortment, was evaluated to 16.8%. The export of consecutive piglets batches was identified as the most efficient measure facilitating swIAV infection fade-out. Although some vaccination schemes (batch-to-batch vaccination) had a beneficial effect in breeding sows by reducing the persistence of swIAVs within this subpopulation, none of vaccination strategies achieved swIAVs fade-out within the entire farrow-to-finish pig herd.
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Charlie Cador, Mathieu Andraud, Lander Willem, Nicolas Rose. Control of endemic swine flu persistence in farrow-to-finish pig farms: a stochastic metapopulation modeling assessment. Veterinary Research, BioMed Central, 2017, 48 (1), pp.58. ⟨10.1186/s13567-017-0462-1⟩. ⟨hal-02973472⟩



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