Journal article Open Access

An FSKX compliant source attribution model for salmonellosis and a look at its major hidden pitfalls

Sundermann, Esther M.; Correia Carreira, Guido; Käsbohrer, Annemarie

To reduce the burden of human society that is caused by zoonotic diseases, it is important to attribute sources to human illnesses. One powerful approach in supporting any intervention decision is mathematical modelling. This paper presents a source attribution model which considers five sources (broilers, laying hens, pigs, turkeys) for salmonellosis and uses two datasets from Germany collected over two time periods; one from 2004 to 2007 and one from 2010 to 2011. The model uses a Bayesian modelling approach derived from the so-called Hald model and is based on microbial subtyping. In this case, Salmonella isolates from humans and animals were subtyped with respect to serovar and phage type. Based on that typing, the model estimates how many human salmonellosis cases can be attributed to each of the considered sources. A reference description of the model is available under DOI: 10.1111/zph.12645. Here, we present this model as a ready-to-use resource in the Food Safety Knowledge Exchange (FSKX) format. This open information exchange format allows to re-use, modify, and further develop the model and uses model metadata and controlled vocabulary to harmonise the annotation. In addition to the model, we discuss some technical pitfalls that might occur when running this Bayesian model based on Markov chain Monte Carlo calculations. As source attribution of zoonotic disease is one useful tool for the One Health approach, our work facilitates the exchange, adjustment, and re-usage of this source attribution model by the international and multi-sectoral community.

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