Comparison of output-based approaches used to substantiate bovine tuberculosis free status in Danish cattle herds

Alessandro Foddai, Liza Rosenbaum Nielsen, Preben Willeberg, Lis Alban

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    We compared two published studies based on different output-based surveillance models, which were used for evaluating the performance oftwo meatinspection systems in cattle and to substantiate freedom from bovine tuberculosis (bTB)in Denmark. The systems were the current meatinspection methods (CMI) vs. the visual-only inspection (VOI). In one study, the surveillance system sensitivity (SSe) was estimated to substantiate the bTB free status. The other study used SSe in the estimation ofthe probability offreedom (PFree), based on the epidemiological concept of negative predictive value to substantiate the bTB free status. Both studies found that changing from CMI to VOI would markedly decrease the SSe. However, the two studies reported diverging conclusions regarding the effect on the substantiation of Denmark as a bTB free country, if VOI were to be introduced. The objectives of this work were: (a) to investigate the reasons why conclusions based on the two models differed, and (b) to create a hybrid model based on elements from both studies to evaluate the impact of a change from CMI to VOI. The hybrid model was based on the PFree approach to substantiate freedom from bTB and was parametrized with inputs according to the newest available information. The PFree was updated on an annual basis for each of 42 years oftest-negative surveillance data (1995–2037), while assuming a low (<1%) annual probability of introduction of bTB into Danish cattle herds. The most important reasons for the difference between the study conclusions were: the approach chosen to substantiate the bTB free status (SSe vs. PFree) and the number of years of surveillance data considered. With the hybrid model, the PFree reached a level >95% after the first year of surveillance and remained ≥96% with both the CMI and VOI systems until the end of the analyzed period. It is appropriate to use the PFree ofthe surveillance system to substantiate confidence in bTB free status, when test-negative surveillance results can be documented over an extended period of time, while maintaining a low probability of introduction of bTB into the cattle population. For Denmark, the probability of introduction of bTB should be kept <1% on an annual basis to sustain the high confidence in freedom over time. The results could be considered when deciding if the CMI can be replaced by VOI in cattle abattoirs of countries for which bTB freedom can be demonstrated.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalPreventive Veterinary Medicine
    Issue number1-2
    Pages (from-to)21-29
    Number of pages9
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


    • Surveillance sensitivity
    • Freedom from disease
    • Stochastic Scenario tree
    • Bovine tuberculosis


    Dive into the research topics of 'Comparison of output-based approaches used to substantiate bovine tuberculosis free status in Danish cattle herds'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this