Modelling vaccination strategies against foot-and-mouth disease

Nature. 2003 Jan 9;421(6919):136-42. doi: 10.1038/nature01343. Epub 2002 Dec 22.


Vaccination has proved a powerful defence against a range of infectious diseases of humans and animals. However, its potential to control major epidemics of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in livestock is contentious. Using an individual farm-based model, we consider either national prophylactic vaccination campaigns in advance of an outbreak, or combinations of reactive vaccination and culling strategies during an epidemic. Consistent with standard epidemiological theory, mass prophylactic vaccination could reduce greatly the potential for a major epidemic, while the targeting of high-risk farms increases efficiency. Given sufficient resources and preparation, a combination of reactive vaccination and culling might control ongoing epidemics. We also explore a reactive strategy, 'predictive' vaccination, which targets key spatial transmission loci and can reduce markedly the long tail that characterizes many FMD epidemics. These analyses have broader implications for the control of human and livestock infectious diseases in heterogeneous spatial landscapes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Domestic
  • Cattle
  • Cattle Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cattle Diseases / immunology
  • Cattle Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Cattle Diseases / transmission
  • Computer Simulation
  • Disease Outbreaks / prevention & control
  • Disease Outbreaks / veterinary
  • England
  • Foot-and-Mouth Disease / epidemiology
  • Foot-and-Mouth Disease / immunology*
  • Foot-and-Mouth Disease / prevention & control*
  • Foot-and-Mouth Disease / transmission
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological*
  • Vaccination*
  • Viral Vaccines / administration & dosage
  • Viral Vaccines / immunology*
  • Viral Vaccines / therapeutic use*


  • Viral Vaccines