Comparing direct and indirect transmission in a simple model of veterinary disease

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Foodborne diseases are a longstanding worldwide public health concern. Modeling the transmission pathways of foodborne pathogens accurately and effectively can aid in understanding the spread of pathogens and facilitate decision making for intervention. A new compartmental model is reported that integrates the effects of both direct and indirect transmission. Depending on the choice of epidemiological parameters, the model can be tuned to be purely direct, purely indirect, or used to explore the dynamics in an intermediate regime. Steady state analysis of the model and limiting cases are studied. A numerical simulation is employed to study the impact of different epidemiological parameters and dose response. Direct transmission can surpass the effect of indirect transmission for the same range of parameter values and result in an earlier epidemic. The rate at which the pathogens are removed from the environment can lead to a faster epidemic. The environmental contamination can decrease the time to reach the steady state depending on the dose response. These results can inform policy makers for control strategies to reduce foodborne pathogen transmission.


03 Nov 2019