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COVID-19 related research by the UCD Centre for Veterinary Epidemiology & Risk Analysis (CVERA)

Since March 2020, several CVERA colleagues have contributed to the work of the IEMAG (Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group), one of the 9 subgroups of the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET). Chaired by Philip Nolan, the IEMAG has provided advice and expertise in support of national decision-making in the area of epidemiological data and modelling. CVERA contributed to parameter estimation to support national modelling, and to population mobility trends, the deprivation index and the spatio-temporal spread relevant to COVID-19. CVERA members worked in close collaboration with staff from a broad range of organisations, including the DAFM One Health Scientific Support Unit, UCD School of Veterinary Medicine, UCD Centre for Food Safety, UCD School of Biosystems and Food Engineering and UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science, as well as staff from the Central Statistics Office, Health Information and Quality Authority, Health Service Executive, National University of Ireland Maynooth, RCSI Department of Population Health and Health Services, UCC School of Public Health, UCL Department of Mathematics and Statistics, UCL Health Research Institute and MACSI, and the University of Nottingham. The following are COVID-19 papers published during 2021, to date, each of which is accessible online free of charge.

Recent COVID-19 publications

Casey-Bryars, M., Griffin, J., McAloon, C.G., Byrne, A.W., Madden, J.M., McEvoy, D., Collins, Á.B., Hunt, K., Barber, A., Butler, F., Lane, E.A., O’Brien, K., Wall, P., Walsh, K.A., More, S.J., 2021. Pre-symptomatic transmission of SARS-CoV-2 infection: a secondary analysis using published data. BMJ Open 11, e041240. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2020-041240

Madden, J.M., More, S.J., Teljeur, C., Gleeson, J., Walsh, C., McGrath, G., 2021. Population mobility trends, deprivation index and the spatio-temporal spread of Coronavirus disease 2019 in Ireland. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, 6285. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18126285

McAloon, C.G., Wall, P., Griffin, J., Casey, M., Barber, A., Codd, M., Gormley, E., Butler, F., Messam, L.L.McV., Walsh, C., Teljeur, C., Smyth, B., Nolan, P., Green, M.J., O’Grady, L., Culhane, K., Buckley, C., Carroll, C., Doyle, S., Martin, J., More, S.J., 2021. Estimation of the serial interval and proportion of pre-symptomatic transmission events of COVID-19 in Ireland using contact tracing data. BMC Public Health 21, 805. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-021-10868-9

McEvoy, D., McAloon, C., Collins, Á., Hunt, K., Butler, F., Byrne, A., Casey-Bryars, M., Barber, A., Griffin, J., Lane, E.A., Wall, P., More, S.J., 2021. Relative infectiousness of asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infected persons compared with symptomatic individuals: a rapid scoping review. BMJ Open 11, e042354. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2020-042354

The UCD Centre for Veterinary Epidemiology and Risk Analysis (CVERA) 

The UCD Centre for Veterinary Epidemiology and Risk Analysis (CVERA) is the national resource centre for veterinary epidemiology in Ireland. The Centre provides scientific research, applied epidemiology, scientific leadership, and scientific support services across a broad canvas of issues relating to regulatory and non-regulatory animal health issues, animal welfare and public health. The Centre works collaboratively with staff from the School and the wider University, as well as the national Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM), Animal Health Ireland and other national and international organisations. The Centre is funded by DAFM.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, several members of CVERA, in association with members of other research groups, contributed to the effort to combat the virus. Please see above for further information on this work. 

During 2021, CVERA conducted research on aspects of bovine tuberculosis in the national herd, Johne’s disease, bovine herpesvirus and viral diarrhoea, and Schmallenberg virus. Additionally, other areas of research include herd type classification, livestock disease resilience, modelling epidemics on temporal networks, a modelling framework for the prediction of herd-level probability of infection, intramammary antimicrobial usage, and the development of a Europe-wide generic data collection tool to support assessment of freedom of infection in cattle herds. Non-COVID-19 papers published during 2021, to date, are listed below. These papers would not be possible without the co-operation of national and international colleagues.

Biemans, F., Ben Romdhane, R., Gontier, P., Fourichon, C., Ramsbottom, G., More, S.J., Ezanno, P., 2021. Modelling transmission and control of Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis within Irish dairy herds with compact spring calving. Preventive Veterinary Medicine 186, 105228. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.prevetmed.2020.105228  

Brock, J., Lange, M., Tratalos, J.A., More, S.J., Guelbenzu-Gonzalo, M., Graham, D.A., Thulke, H.-H., 2021. A large-scale epidemiological model of BoHV-1 spread in the Irish cattle population to support decision-making in conformity with the European Animal Health Law. Preventive Veterinary Medicine 192, 105375. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.prevetmed.2021.105375

Brock, J., Lange, M., Tratalos, J.A., More, S.J., Graham, D.A., Guelbenzu-Gonzalo, M., Thulke, H.-H., 2021. Combining expert knowledge and machine-learning to classify herd types in livestock systems. Scientific Reports 11, 2989. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-82373-3

Byrne, A.W., Barrett, D., Breslin, P., Madden, J.M., O’Keeffe, J., Ryan, E., 2021. Future risk of bovine tuberculosis (Mycobacterium bovis) breakdown in cattle herds 2013-2018: a dominance analysis approach. Microorganisms 9, 1004. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9051004

Doeschl-Wilson, A., Knap, P.W., Opriessnig, T., More, S.J., 2021. Livestock disease resilience: from individual to herd level. Animal (in press). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.animal.2021.100286

Gavey, L., Citer, L., More, S.J., Graham, D., 2021. The Irish Johne’s control programme. Frontiers in Veterinary Science 8, 703843. https://doi.org/10.3389/fvets.2021.703843

Gormley, E., Ní Bhuachalla, D., Fitzsimons, T., O'Keeffe, J., McGrath, G., Madden, J.M., Fogarty, N., Kenny, K., Messam, L., Murphy, D., Corner, L., 2021. Protective immunity against tuberculosis in a free-living badger population vaccinated orally with Mycobacterium bovis Bacille Calmette Guérin (BCG). Transboundary and Emerging Diseases (in press). https://doi.org/10.1111/tbed.14254

Graham, D., More, S.J., O’Sullivan, P., Lane, E., Barrett, D., Lozano, J.-M., Thulke, H.-H., Verner, S., Guelbenzu, M., 2021. The Irish programme to eradicate bovine viral diarrhoea virus – organization, challenges and progress. Frontiers in Veterinary Science 8, 674557. https://doi.org/10.3389/fvets.2021.674557

Humphries, R., Mulchrone, K., Tratalos, J., More, S.J., Hövel, P., 2021. A systematic framework of modelling epidemics on temporal networks. Applied Network Science 6, 23. https://doi.org/10.1007/s41109-021-00363-w

Kęsik‐Maliszewska, J., Collins, Á.B., Rola, J., Blanco‐Penedo, I., Larska, M., 2021. Schmallenberg virus in Poland endemic or re‐emerging? A six‐year serosurvey. Transboundary and Emerging Diseases 68, 2188-2198. https://doi.org/10.1111/tbed.13870

Madden, J.M., McGrath, G., Sweeney, J., Murray, G., Tratalos, J.A., More, S.J., 2021. Spatio-temporal models of bovine tuberculosis in the Irish cattle population, 2012-2019. Spatial and Spatio-temporal Epidemiology 39, 100441. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sste.2021.100441

Madouasse, A., Mercat, M., van Roon, A., Graham, D., Guelbenzu, M., Santman Berends, I., van Schaik, G., Nielen, M., Frössling, J., Ågren, E., Humphry, R., Eze, J., Gunn, G., Gethmann, J., More, S.J., Fourichon, C., 2021. A modelling framework for the prediction of the herd-level probability of infection from longitudinal data. Peer Community in Animal Science (in press). https://animsci.peercommunityin.org/articles/rec?id=11

McAloon, C.I., McCoy, F., More, S.J., 2021. Short Communication: Trends in estimated intramammary antimicrobial usage in the Irish dairy industry from 2003 to 2019. JDS Communications 2, 271-276. https://doi.org/10.3168/jdsc.2021-0081

van Roon, A.M., Rapaliute, E., Koleci, X., Muñoz, V., Mercat, M., Faverjon, C., Santman-Berends, I.M.G.A., Nielen, M., More, S.J., Graham, D., Guelbenzu-Gonzalo, M., Madouasse, A., Fourichon, C., van Schaik, G., 2021. Key learnings during the development of a generic data collection tool to support assessment of freedom of infection in cattle herds. Frontiers in Veterinary Science 8, 656336. https://doi.org/10.3389/fvets.2021.656336

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