Strategic Partnership for Animal Science Excellence (SPASE)


A systems modelling approach to the persistence and control of E. coli O157

This project forms part of the Scottish Government funded consortium Strategic Partnership for Animal Science Excellence (SPASE).

Escherichia coli O157 is an important zoonotic pathogen of humans, with a high incidence in Scotland relative to many other countries. It has a major reservoir in cattle that means that tackling infection in these animals can be an important route to control.

This project will develop state-of-the-art multiscale systems models that can capture the interacting mechanisms of persistence in individuals, herds and the environment. This will be achieved by
1) building and parameterising mathematical models that capture individual variation (including supershedding) at multiple scales to determine the key factors and their interrelationships that allow the persistence of E. coli O157 infection in the national herd;
2) applying these models to determine optimal control strategies, taking into account the transmission dynamics and ecology of the pathogen; and
3) to use these models to predict the impact of controls in cattle on incidence in humans.