Research into the spread of animal diseases could become more effective with the help of new guidelines developed by independent researchers at the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Research into the spread of animal diseases could become more effective with the help of new guidelines, developed by independent researchers at the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow.

The molecular epidemiology of bluetongue virus (BTV) since 1998: routes of introduction of different serotypes and individual virus strains. *Presence of BTV-specific neutralizing antibodies in animals in Bulgaria, but the presence of BTV serotype 8 cannot yet be confirmed.Scientists at the two universities have produced a checklist for researchers that will also help policy makers interpret data used to inform animal and public health decisions.

The guidelines, known as The Guide to Good Practice for Quantitative Veterinary Epidemiology, include more than 200 recommendations to ensure best practice for areas including computer modelling, data interpretation and communicating with policy makers.

They could, for example, be used to guide analysis of the impact of badger culling on bovine TB or the control of major outbreaks such as foot and mouth and help to inform policy decisions.

The Guide to Good Practice for Quantitative Veterinary EpidemiologyMark Woolhouse, professor of infectious disease epidemiology at the University of Edinburgh, said: “Scientific methods exist that allow us to be confident in certain scenarios, for instance when a plane is safe to fly – but it is hard to translate these to biological systems. Such confidence levels are the aim of clinical trials – for instance whether or not drugs are safe to use – but there are no set standards when, for example, it comes to the use of mathematical models of the spread of diseases, even though these can have major impacts on animal or public health. This set of guidelines aims to provide a benchmark to help gain that level of confidence.”

The guidelines aim to help policymakers and other interested parties become more familiar with and confident of complex analyses of epidemiological data intended to predict the spread of disease or the effectiveness of control measures.

The guidelines are also relevant to science in other fields. This could include adopting similar principles for quantitative analysis in areas related to climate change, economic forecasting or risk assessments.

The guidelines were created as part of a report by the Veterinary Training in Research Initiative Project, with funding from DEFRA and the Scottish Funding Council.

 

View your activity >

Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!

Notify of
avatar

wpDiscuz