Models To Assess the Risk of Introduction of Selected Animal Viral Diseases Through the Importation of Live Animals As a Key Part of Risk Analysis

J Vet Res. 2021 Dec 20;65(4):383-389. doi: 10.2478/jvetres-2021-0069. eCollection 2021 Dec.


Introduction of an animal viral disease, especially a notifiable disease, into an importing country or region free from the disease may lead to serious epidemiological consequences and economic losses. Trade in live animals is historically considered one of the most important risk pathways. To estimate the magnitude of such risk, the likelihood of a virus' entry into a country and the consequences of this event should be jointly evaluated. Depending on data availability, the urgency of the problem and the detail level of the objectives, a risk assessment may be conducted in a qualitative, semi-quantitative or quantitative way. The purpose of this review was firstly to provide a brief description of each step of the risk analysis process, with particular emphasis on the risk assessment component, and subsequently to supply examples of different approaches to the assessment of the risk of the introduction of selected animal viral diseases. Based on the reviewed models, the overall likelihood of introduction of particular diseases was generally estimated as low. The output risk value was strongly dependent on the duration of the silent phase of the epidemic in the country of origin. Other parameters with some bearing upon the risk derived from the epidemiological situation in the country of origin and the biosecurity or mitigation measures implemented in the country of destination. The investigated models are universal tools for conducting assessment of the risk of introduction of various animal diseases to any country. Their application may lead to timely implementation of appropriate measures for the prevention of the spread of a disease to another country or region.

Keywords: animals; import risk analysis; infectious diseases; risk models.