African swine fever virus is highly contagious, and mortality rates reach up to 100% depending on the host, virus dose, and the transmission routes. The main objective of this study was to develop a network-based simulation model for the farm-level transmission of ASF virus to evaluate the impact of changes in farm connectivity on ASF spread in Vietnam. A hypothetical population of 1,000 pig farms was created and used for the network-based simulation, where each farm represented a node, and the connection between farms represented an edge. The three scenarios modelled in this way (baseline, low, and high) evaluated the impact of connectivity on disease transmission. The median number of infected farms was higher as the connectivity increased (low: 659, baseline: 968 and high: 993). In addition, we evaluated the impact of the culling strategy on the number of infected farms. A total of four scenarios were simulated depending on the timing of culling after a farm was infected. We found that the timing of culling at 16, 12, 8, and 6 weeks had resulted in a reduction of the number of median infected farms by 81.92%, 91.63%, 100%, and 100%, respectively. Finally, our evaluation of the implication of stability of ties between farms indicated that if the farms were to have the same trading partners for at least six months could significantly reduce the median number of infected farms to two (95th percentile: 413) than in the basic model. Our study showed that pig movements among farms had a significant influence on the transmission dynamics of ASF virus. In addition, we found that the either timing of culling, reduction in the number of trading partners each farm had, or decreased mean contact rate during the outbreaks were essential to prevent or stop further outbreaks.
Hu Suk Lee, Thakur, K.K., Long Pham-Thanh, Tung Duy Dao, Anh Ngoc Bui, Vuong Nghia Bui and Huy Nguyen Quang. 2021. A stochastic network-based model to simulate farm-level transmission of African swine fever virus in Vietnam. PLOS ONE 16(3): e0247770.