The research of the group mainly focuses on the development of transmission models for infectious agents in livestock, in which knowledge from theoretical biology, veterinary science, animal science, mathematics and statistics are integrated. Such models are supported with data from experiments or from field studies.
These models are used for:
- predicting the course of an epidemic (example: classical swine fever (CSF) epidemic outbreak in NL in 1997)
- predicting the effects of interventions (example: CSF 1997)
- development of disease control programs (example: eradication program for Aujeszky's disease in pigs in NL)
- development of monitoring programs (example: assessing the progress of the eradication of IBR in cattle in NL)
- giving indications about the quality of the diagnostic test(s) in order to fight a disease successfully.
Emphasis in research is also given to:
- Fundamental aspects of diagnostic testing, as the quality of the diagnostics is essential for the success of a disease control program
- Identification and quantification of risk factors in order to select suitable interventions
Currently, the following PhD projects are running:
- Infection dynamics and effective control strategies of tuberculosis in badgers and cattle of Ireland (Inma Aznar)
- Evolutionary biology of AI viruses: predicting effects of vaccination on transmission (Ioannis (Akis) Sitaris)
- Lumpy skin disease occurrence, transmission, cost and impact of vaccination in Ethiopia (Wassie Molla Abebe)
- Molecular epidemiology of hepatitis E virus in the pork production chain and evaluation of risk factors in North-central Nigeria (Olajide Owolodun)
- New ways to improve human health and animal health and welfare: quantification of genetic host traits for infection dynamics in animals (Floor Biemans)