Modelling spread of Bluetongue and other vector borne diseases in Denmark and evaluation of intervention strategies

The main outcome of this PhD project is a generic model for non-contagious infectious vector-borne disease spread by one vector species between up to two species of hosts distributed on farms and pasture. The model features a within-herd model of disease, combined with a triple movement kernel that describes spread of disease using vectors or hosts as agents of the spread.

The model is run with bluetongue as the primary case study, and it is demonstrated how an epidemic outbreak of bluetongue 8 in Denmark is sensitive to the use of pasture, climate, vaccination, vector abundance, and flying parameters.

In constructing a more process oriented agent-based approach to spread modeling new parameters describing vector behavior were introduced. When these vector flying parameters have been quantified by experiments, this model can be implemented on areas naive to the modeled disease with a high predictive power.

Furthermore this PhD has provided a new method of estimating the effect of light traps, which can estimate the additive effect of closely placed traps, and determine trap range of individual traps based on emitted light intensity. Moreover there has been devised a method to sample in time which maximizes information about time dependence and is robust to changes.

      IMM - Energy
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