Opportunities and challenges of using diagnostic databases for monitoring livestock diseases in Denmark

Ana Carolina Lopes Antunes, Tariq Hisham Beshara Halasa, Nils Toft

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    Several databases are being used in Denmark to record information at all stages and levels of modern livestock production. These databases are all developed for different purposes and gather large volumes of routinely collected data. Examples of existing databases for livestock are the Central Husbandry Register (CHR), Meat inspection database for cattle and swine, mortality database and movement database. These databases are owned by the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries. Other databases, such as the Danish Cattle Database, are owned by the agricultural sector. In addition to the technical and political bottlenecks of gathering and combining data from the different databases, the questions remain on the sensitivity and timeliness of data for detecting unexpected animal health events. Thus, it is important to explore changes in data records over time from different databases in order to detect potential patterns. This includes describing trends, seasonality and the potential impact of covariates on the baseline patterns. The potential of these data as monitoring tools can be evaluated using performance indicators such as residuals, predictive positive values, sensitivity and specificity, and by comparing the predictions of models with previous diseases events in Denmark. A further challenge is to identify the most adequate surveillance timescale (i.e. daily, weekly or monthly basis) as well as suitable spatial distances, in order to identify outlier events when the features of the alarm (e.g. shape and amplitude) are unknown. Using rule-based anomaly detection will allow developing a spatio-temporal monitoring framework based on time-series analysis and statistical process control in order to optimize methods for detection of anomalies in data patterns and methods for early warning. It is expected that the use of such information in space and time, might provide information which can be used either directly as a syndromic surveillance tool or to aid in a more targeted or directed disease surveillance program. This will enable a timely and appropriate response to a disease outbreak, minimizing economic impacts through timely implementation of disease prevention and control measures.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2014
    Publication statusPublished - 2014
    Event8th Annual Meeting of Epizone: Primed for tomorrow - DGI Byen, Copenhagen, Denmark
    Duration: 23 Sep 201425 Sep 2014
    Conference number: 8


    Conference8th Annual Meeting of Epizone
    LocationDGI Byen
    Internet address


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