Rapid Risk Assessment Tool to prioritize exotic animal disease surveillance

Vos-de Jong, C.J. de; Petie, R.; Klink, E.G.M. van; Swanenburg, M.


To facilitate decisions on risk management for exotic animal disease threats, a rapid risk assessment tool (RRAT) was developed to quickly assess the ever-changing risk of animal disease introduction. The objective of the tool is to prioritize diseases for risk management and to identify high risk trade flows and source countries. RRAT has been built as a relational database to link data on disease outbreaks worldwide, on pathways for introduction and on disease-specific parameters. The tool has been parameterized to assess the incursion risk of ten exotic animal diseases for the Netherlands by two pathways, i.e. trade in live nimals and import of animal products. RRAT calculates a semi-quantitative risk score for the incursion risk of each disease, the results of which allow for prioritization. Results based on the 2018 situation indicate that bovine tuberculosis has the highest risk of being introduced into the Netherlands by both introduction pathways. Trade in live animals also entails a risk for equine infectious anemia and bluetongue, whereas import of animal products also has a high risk for African swine fever, Aujeszky’s disease and foot and mouth disease. We conclude that RRAT is a powerful tool to quickly analyze the incursion risk of multiple animal diseases. Inclusion of additional pathways will increase the reliability of results, especially when import of livestock is banned from infected areas.