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The Spread of Avian Influenza Across Heterogeneous Farmscapes: Implications for Control


We invite you to attend a workshop jointly sponsored by UC Davis and the National Science Foundation on the spread and control of avian influenza. In addition to plenary talks and roundtable discussions, the workshop includes an afternoon session of contributed papers.

Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) is a virulent disease with many documented outbreaks across Europe and Asia. HPAI is endemic in Southeast Asia, but has the potential to jeopardize both human health and the poultry industry worldwide. Existing research on HPAI outbreaks has not examined the influence of poultry farm size and spatial distribution despite evidence suggesting these factors may play an important role in the spread of the disease.

This one-day workshop, sponsored by the National Science Foundationís Collaborative Learning at the Interface of Biology and Mathematics (CLIMB) program at UC Davis, will focus on the efficacy of control strategies through theoretical modeling of disease dynamics. Empirical data and realistic farm dynamics are critical to generating theoretical models applicable to the development of efficient alternative control strategies. By bringing together researchers from theoretical and applied backgrounds, and colleagues who work directly with poultry, the workshop will highlight how collaboration can improve our understanding of this potentially devastating disease.

The undergraduates in the CLIMB program at UC Davis have developed and analyzed a two-part model that aims to represent HPAI disease dynamics. The approach consists of an SEIR-type epidemiological model, focused on within-farm dynamics, coupled with a spatial network model to include disease spread between farms. The model emphasizes the impact of farm heterogeneity on the time-scale of disease spread, intensity of infection, and the effectiveness of potential control strategies.

This workshop will include a presentation by the CLIMB trainees of their modeling project, along with talks by leading scientists, industry representatives, and public officials interested in disease prevention in the poultry industry.

Attendance is free but preregistration is required. For more information, please contact Carole Hom, clhom at ucdavis dot edu