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Rate of Foot-and-Mouth Disease Virus Transmission by Carriers Quantified from Experimental Data


*Address correspondence to Arjan Stegeman, Marburglaan 7, 3584 CN Utrecht, The Netherlands; tel: 31.30.2531248; fax: 31.30.2521887;


Upon infection with foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) a considerable number of animals become carriers of the virus. These carriers are considered to be a risk for new outbreaks, but the rate at which these animals can transmit the infection has not been quantified. An analysis was carried out using data from previously published experiments in order to quantify the transmission rate parameter β of FMDV infection from carriers to susceptible animals. The parameter β was estimated at 0.0256 (likelihood-based confidence interval: 0.008–0.059) infections per carrier per month. Moreover, analysis of published experimental data indicates that the proportion of FMDV carriers decreases at a rate of 0.115 per month. Both parameters obtained from this study are useful for quantitative risk analyses of the trade of animals from FMDV-infected areas or the lifting of vaccination programs.