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Outbreak Decision Support Tools

The ‘Outbreak Decision Support Tools’ project builds on an existing computer simulation model (Australian Animal Disease Spread – AADIS). This project will enhance and use the AADIS model to better inform strategic decision-making around managing a foot-and-mouth-disease (FMD) outbreak.

Researchers will work with government and industry stakeholders to design and test response strategies for FMD through simulations and interactive workshops.

The project aims to provide robust guidelines for responding to an FMD outbreak, including approaches to post-outbreak surveillance and management options for vaccinated animals, to support proof-of-freedom and a faster return to trade.

Project update: July 2018

  • Information has been collected from jurisdictional and industry stakeholders via workshops and surveys to find out what the costs and benefits are of using vaccination as part of an FMD response strategy and how these vary depending on the particular circumstances of an outbreak (e.g. location and types of animals effected).
  • Some of this information has been used to update the costs of FMD control measures for use in the Australian Animal Disease Spread model (AADIS) simulation software. Inputs from jurisdictional and industry stakeholders has also helped inform the selection of outbreak scenarios and control strategies for AADIS simulations. The research team would like to thank all of the jurisdictions for their efforts in responding to requests for information and compiling the information needed for this study.
  • AADIS simulations are first being run to investigate the effectiveness of vaccination as part of available control measures described in AUSVETPLAN within the set of outbreak scenarios developed. Further simulations will then be run using the new post-outbreak surveillance module in AADIS developed by the Centre of Excellence for Biosecurity Risk Analysis (CEBRA).
  • This post-outbreak module is being used in the current project to conduct an analysis of the consequences of different vaccination strategies on post-outbreak surveillance for FMD in Australia and how rapid return to trade might be supported, should an outbreak occur.

Project team:

Dr Tim Capon
Sub-project leader
Dr Shuang Liu
Research Scientist
Dr Andrew Breed
Department of Agriculture and Water Resources
Veterinary Epidemiologist
Dr Sharon Roche
Department of Agriculture and Water Resources
Tim Capon is an agricultural and natural resources economist with CSIRO Land and Water based in Canberra. Tim’s research interests include the application of insights from behavioural and experimental economics to help understand decision-making and market behaviour under conditions of risk and uncertainty. Recent applications include work on economic resilience, disaster mitigation, and the economics of plant and animal biosecurity. Shuang Liu is a research scientist at the CSIRO, Australia’s science agency.  She is an ecological economist with a general research interest in facilitating collective environmental decision-making under uncertainty. Her transdisciplinary research integrates the study of humans and the rest of nature to address policy-relevant issues at multiple scales.  Shuang’s expertise includes risk assessment, impact evaluation, participatory decision-making, ecological economic modelling, and ecosystem services valuation. Andrew’s current role involves leading and managing projects in animal disease surveillance and epidemiology. He worked in mixed-animal veterinary practice in Australia and the UK before completing an MSc in Wild Animal Health at the Royal Veterinary College and then a PhD on the epidemiology of Hendra and Nipah viruses at the Australian Biosecurity Cooperative Research Centre for Emerging Infectious Disease. He is a Diplomate of the European College of Zoological Medicine and specialist in Wildlife Population Health. He has published widely on the epidemiology and ecology of viral pathogens, is a member of the IUCN’s Wildlife Health Specialist Group, and editor for the journals EcoHealth and Epidemiology & Infection. Dr Sharon Roche is working at the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources to contribute epidemiological expertise to model development, scenario development and simulation studies. Her previous work includes investigating how resourcing affects control of an FMD outbreak, studying the human and animal health impacts of the West Nile virus, and assessing the risk of avian influenza in poultry in Indonesia.
Dr Richard Bradhurst
University of Melbourne
Dr Graeme Garner
CSIRO and FAO EuFMD  Epidemiology/modelling
Nhu Che
Manon Courias
CSIRO Land and Water
Richard Bradhurst is a Research Fellow in the Centre of Excellence for Biosecurity Risk Analysis (CEBRA). He is interested in the fusion of multiple modelling approaches (equation-based, agent-based and cellular automata), to produce epidemiologically authentic and computationally tractable simulations of the spatiotemporal spread and control of emergency animal diseases. He collaborates with the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, the New Zealand Ministry of Primary Industries, ANU, CSIRO, the EuFMD Commission within the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, and the Center for Epidemiology and Animal Health within the United States Department of Agriculture. Graeme Garner is a veterinary epidemiologist who recently retired from full time work after almost 30 years with the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.  Prior to his retirement he was a Senior Principal Research Scientist and Director of the Department’s Epidemiology and One Health Program. This role involved providing technical support to national disease surveillance and reporting programs, veterinary public health, wildlife disease issues, managing studies on endemic and foreign animal diseases, and providing technical advice to address regional, national and international animal health issues. He currently holds a position as visiting scientist with the CSIRO and is working under contract to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) at the European Commission for the Control of Foot-and-Mouth Disease (EuFMD).  Research interests include simulation modelling of infectious diseases, analysis of disease information, and use of computer mapping and geographical information systems in epidemiological studies. Nhu Che received her Ph.D. and Master’s Degree in Economics from the Australian National University. Her works specialise in the applied economic modelling of natural resources and environmental economics, predominantly biosecurity economics, energy economics, greenhouse gas emissions, oil and gas, agri-food economics.  She is a co-author of a number of books and papers in international peer-reviewed academic journals including, Land Economics, the Journal of Productivity Analysis, Applied Economics, Heliyon- Elsevier Journal and the Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, as well as numerous other professional and technical publications. Her research has been nationally recognised, as part of a research team, with the ‘CSIRO Medal for Research Achievement’, awarded in 2009. Manon is working as an intern with CSIRO Land and Water for 5 months on a case study of the costs to the dairy industry from an FMD outbreak. Manon is an agricultural engineering student at AgroParisTech, Paris’ institute for Life, Food and Environment Sciences. As part of her studies Manon previously worked on the dairy industry of the French region named Normandie where the authentic Camembert is produced. This project strengthened her interest in the dairy industry and she is pleased to have the opportunity to look at the Australian dairy industry with fresh and different eyes.