An investigation of transportation practices in an Ontario swine system using descriptive network analysis

Autoři: Dylan John Melmer aff001;  Terri L. O’Sullivan aff001;  Amy L. Greer aff001;  Zvonimir Poljak aff001
Působiště autorů: Department of Population Medicine, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, Canada aff001
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 15(1)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0226813


The objectives of this research were to describe the contact structure of transportation vehicles and swine facilities in an Ontario swine production system, and to assess their potential contribution to possible disease transmission over different time periods. A years’ worth of data (2015) was obtained from a large swine production and data management company located in Ontario, Canada. There was a total of 155 different transportation vehicles, and 220 different farms within the study population. Two-mode networks were constructed for 1-,3-, and 7-day time periods over the entire year and were analyzed. Trends in the size of the maximum weak component and outgoing contact chain over discrete time periods were investigated using linear regression. Additionally, the number of different types of facilities with betweenness >0 and in/out degree>0 were analyzed using Poisson regression. Maximum weekly outgoing contact chain (MOCCw) contained between 2.1% and 7.1% of the study population. This suggests a potential maximum of disease spread within this population if the disease was detected within one week. Frequency of node types within MOCCw showed considerable variability; although nursery sites were relatively most frequent. The regression analysis of several node and network level statistics indicated a potential peak time of connectivity during the summer months and warrants further confirmation and investigation. The inclusion of transportation vehicles contributed to the linear increase in the maximum weekly weak component (MWCw) size over time. This finding in combination with constant population dynamics, may have been driven by the differential utilization of trucks over time. Despite known limitations of maximum weak components as an estimator of possible outbreaks, this finding suggests that transportation vehicles should be included, when possible and relevant, in the evaluation of contacts between farms.

Klíčová slova:

Data management – Network analysis – Ontario – Sanitation – Swine – Transportation – Veterinary diseases – Veterinary epidemiology


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2020 Číslo 1