Department: Pathobiology and Population Sciences
Research Centres: Veterinary Epidemiology, Economics and Public Health
Pablo's research and teaching focuses on the economics of animal health.His interest lie in mapping and assessing governance of livestock food systems; in understanding the economic drivers associated with the emergence, prevention and control of animal diseases; in evaluating their economic burden for the different people in the food chain; and in the development of economic decision support tools for disease control to help to improve food safety, food security, and to optimize production processes and animal welfare. Pablo is also involved in food safety teaching to undergraduate veterinary students.
Pablo graduated in Veterinary Medicine in 2005 by the University of Cordoba, Spain. He undertook a MSc in veterinary epidemiology at the RVC and, subsequently, worked in the epidemiology division of the same institution for two years before starting his PhD in September 2009. For his PhD he investigated the epidemiological and economical impact of porcine post-weaning multi-systemic wasting syndrome in England. In addition, his research also focused on the investigation of pig farmers' decision-making process for disease control. He graduated from his PhD in 2012. He then started a post-doctoral research fellowship in food systems at the RVC and at the Leverhulme Centre for Integrative Research on Agriculture and Health (LCIRAH). He investigated the livestock value chains operating in Nairobi, Kenya, and their role in emergence of food safety risks and in the city’s food security. He also continue developing economic models to assess disease impact and effectiveness of interventions for other animal diseases, such as Schmallenberg and PRRS. In 2016, he joined the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) as a veterinary epidemiologist, where he provided epidemiological support on the design and analysis of livestock disease surveillance, and for outbreak investigations. In particular, he provided support to the European Union reference laboratory for Avian Influenza and TSEs, and in the development of antimicrobial resistance research projects. In 2017, he started a position as Lecturer in Animal Health Economics at the RVC.
Research interest lie in:
- Mapping and assessing governance of livestock food systems;
- Understanding the economic drivers associated with the emergence, prevention and control of animal diseases;
- Assessing the economic burden of animal disease for the different people in the food chain (e.g. Avian Influenza and AMR)
- The development of economic decision support tools for disease control to help to improve food safety, food security, and to optimize production processes and animal welfare.
- One Health economics
Pablo currently participate in the supervision on 3 PhD students.
- Francisca Di Pillo, Gustavo Anríquez, Pablo Alarcón, Pedro Jimenez-Bluhm, Pablo Galdames, Vanesa Nieto, Stacey Schultz-Cherry, Christopher Hamilton-West (2019). Backyard poultry production in Chile: animal health management and contribution to food access in an upper middle-income country. Pre Vet Med 164: 41-48.
- James M. Akoko, Ewan MacLeod, Lian F. Thomas, Pablo Alarcon, Erastus Kang'ethe, Velma Kivali, DishonMuloi, Patrick Muinde, Maurice K. Murungi, Julius M. Gachoya, Eric M. Fèvre (2019). Detection of circulating antigens for Taenia spp. in pigs slaughtered for consumption in Nairobi and surroundings, Kenya. Parasite Epidemiology and Control 4 (2019) e00093
- Pablo Alarcon, Adam Brouwer, Divya Venkatesh, Daisy Duncan, Chrysostomos I. Dovas, George Georgiades, Isabella Monne, Alice Fusaro, Adam Dan, Krzysztof Smietanka, Vassilios Ragias, Andrew C. Breed, Taxiarchis Chassalevris, Gabriela Goujgoulova, Charlotte K. Hjulsager, Eoin Ryan, Azucena Sánchez, Eric Niqueux, Niina Tammiranta, Siamak Zohari, David Stroud, Vladimir Savic, Nicola S. Lewis, Ian H. Brown. (2018). Comparison of 2016–17 and Previous Epizootics of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza H5 Guangdong Lineage in Europe. Emerging Infectious Disease journal.
- Dishon Muloi, Pablo Alarcon, Jackson Ombui, Kisa J. Ngeiywa, Bulle Abdullahi , Patrick Muinde, Maurice K. Karani, Jonathan Rushton, Eric M. Fèvre (2018). Value chain analysis and sanitary risks of the camel milk system supplying Nairobi city, Kenya. Pre Vet Med 159: 203-210.
- Stella Kiambi , Pablo Alarcon, Jonathan Rushton, Maurice Murungi, Patrick Muinde, James Akoko, Gabriel Oluga, Stephen Gikonyo, Kelvin Momanyi, Erastus Kang’ethe and Eric M. Fèvre (2018). Mapping Nairobi’s dairy food system: an essential analysis for policy, industry and research. Agricultural systems 167, pp: 47-60
- Pablo Alarcon, Francisco Marco-Jimenez, Mark Arnold, Alyssa Wolf, Kim Stevens, Amie Adkin (2018). Spatio-temporal and risk factor analysis of alleles related to Scrapie resistance in sheep in Great Britain before, during and after a national breeding program. Pre Vet Med 159: 12-21
- H. Nathues, P. Alarcon, J. Rushton, R. Jolie, K. Fiebig, M. Jimenez, V. Geurts, C. Nathues (2018). Modelling the economic efficiency of using different strategies to control Porcine Reproductive & Respiratory Syndrome at herd level. Pre Vet Med 152: 89-102
- Pablo Alarcon, Eric M. Fèvre, Patrick Muinde, Maurice K. Murungi, Stella Kiambi, James Akoko, Jonathan Rushton. Urban livestock keeping in the city of Nairobi: Diversity of production systems, supply chains and their disease management and risks. Front Vet Sci 4: 171
- Joshua Orungo Onono, Pablo Alarcon, Maurice Karani, Patrick Muinde, James Miser Akoko, Carron Maud, Eric M. Fevre, Barbara Häsler, Jonathan Rushton. Identification of production challenges and benefits using value chain mapping of egg food systems in Nairobi, Kenya. Agricultural systems 159: 1-8
- Maud Carron, Pablo Alarcon, Maurice Karani, Patrick Muinde, James Akoko, Joshua Onono, Eric Fèvre, Barbara Häsler & Jonathan Rushton. The broiler meat system in Nairobi, Kenya: using a value chain framework to understand animal and product flows, governance and sanitary risks. Pre Vet Med 147: 90-99
- A. Waret-Szkuta, P. Alarcon, B. Häsler, J. Rushton, F. Corbière & D. Raboisson. Economic assessment of an emerging disease: the case of Schmallenberg virus in France. Rev. Sci. Tech. Off. Int. Epiz., 2017, 36 (1), 265-277.
- H. Nathues, P. Alarcon, J. Rushton, R. Jolie, K. Fiebig, M. Jimenez, V. Geurts,C. Nathues, 2017. Cost of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus at individual farm level – An economic disease model. Pre. Vet. Med. 142, 16-29
- P. Alarcon, E. M. Fèvre, M. K. Murungi, P. Muinde, J. Akoko, P. Dominguez-Salas, S. Kiambi, S. Ahmed, B. Häsler, J. Rushton, 2017. Mapping of beef, sheep and goat food systems in Nairobi — A framework for policy making and the identification of structural vulnerabilities and deficiencies. Agricultural systems 152: 1-17.
- Alarcon, P; Fèvre, E M; Murungi, M K; Muinde, P; Akoko, J; Dominguez-Salas, P; Kiambi, S; Ahmed, S; Häsler, B; Rushton, J
Mapping of beef, sheep and goat food systems in Nairobi — A framework for policy making and the identification of structural vulnerabilities and deficiencies. Agricultural Systems.
- Alarcon P., Wittman E., Brouwer A., Breed A., Stroud D., Tye J., Brown, I. Annual report on surveillance for avian influenza in poultry and in wild birds in Member States of the European Union in 2015. EU commission report. DG Sante.
- Laura Cornelsen, Pablo Alarcon, Barbara Häsler, Djesika D. Amendah, Elaine Ferguson, Eric M. Fèvre, Delia Grace, Paula Dominguez-Salas and Jonathan Rushton, 2016. Cross-sectional study of drivers of animal source food consumption in low-income urban areas of Nairobi, Kenya. BMC Nutrition (2016) 2:70.
- Paula Dominguez-Salas, P. Alarcón, B. Häsler, I. R. Dohoo4 , K. Colverson, E. W. Kimani-Murage , S. Alonso , E. Ferguson, E. M. Fèvre, J. Rushton and D. Grace, 2016. Nutritional characterisation of low-income households of Nairobi: socioeconomic, livestock and gender considerations and predictors of malnutrition from a cross-sectional survey. BMC Nutrition (2016) 2:47.
- Häsler, B., Alarcon, P., Raboisson, D., Waret-Szkuta, B., Rushton, J., 2015. Integration of production and financial models to analyse the financial impact of livestock diseases: A case study of Schmallenberg virus disease on British and French dairy farms. Vet Record Open 2 (1): 1-14.
- Alarcon, P., Häsler, B., Raboisson,D., Waret-Szkuta, A., Corbière, F., Rushton, J., 2014. Application of integrated production and economic models to estimate the impact of Schmallenberg virus for various sheep production types in the UK and France. Vet Record Open 1 (1).
- Raboisson, D., Waret-Szkuta, A., Rushton, J., Häsler, B., Alarcon, P., 2014. Application of integrated production and economic models to estimate the impact of Schmallenberg virus for various beef suckler production systems in France and the United Kingdom. BMC Vet Res 10, 254.
- Alarcon, P., Wieland, B., Mateus, A.L.P., Dewberry, C., 2014. Pig farmers' perceptions, attitudes, influences and management of information in the decision-making process for disease control. Pre. Vet. Med. 116 (3), 223-242.
- Velasova, M., Alarcon, P., Werling, D., Nevel, A., Wieland, B., 2013. Effectiveness of porcine circovirus type 2 vaccination in reducing the severity of post-weaning multisystemic wasting syndrome in pigs. Vet Journal. 197 (3), 842-847.
- Alarcon, P. Rushton, J, Nathues, H, Wieland, B., 2013. Economic efficiency analysis of different strategies for the control of Post-weaning multi-systemic wasting syndrome and porcine circovirus type 2 subclinical infection. Pre Vet Med. 110 (2), 103-18.
- Alarcon, P., Rushton, J., Wieland, B., 2013. Cost of Post-weaning multi-systemic wasting syndrome and porcine circovirus subclinical infection - an economic disease model. Prev Vet Med. 110 (2), 88-102.
- Velasova, M., Alarcon, P., Williamson, S., Wieland, B., 2012. Risk factors for porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus infection and resulting challenges for effective disease surveillance. BMC Vet Res 2012 8:184.
- Bae JK, Wieland B, Sait M, Longbottom D, Smith DG, Alarcon P, Wheelhouse N., 2013. Risk factors associated with Lawsonia intracellularis in English pig farms. Vet. J. 197 (3), 707-711.
- Holt, H.R., Alarcon, P., Velasova, M., Pfeiffer, D.U., Wieland, B., 2011. BPEX Pig Health Scheme: a useful monitoring system for respiratory disease control in pig farms? BMC Vet Res 7, 82.
- Alarcon, P., Velasova, M., Mastin, A., Nevel, A., Stark, K.D.C., Wieland, B. Farm level risk factors associated with severity of post-weaning multi-systemic wasting syndrome. Preventive Veterinary Medicine 101 (2011), pp.182-191.
- Mastin. A., Alarcon, P., Pfeiffer, D., Wood, J., Willamson, S., Brown, I., Collaboration COSI consortium, Wieland, B., 2011. Prevalence and risk factors for swine influenza virus infection in the English pig population. PLoS current: Influenza.
- Alarcon, P., Velasova, M., Werling, D., Stärk, K.D.C., Chang, Y., Nevel, A., Pfeiffer, D.U., Wieland, B., 2011. Assessment and quantification of Post-weaning Multi-systemic Wasting Syndrome at farm level. Preventive Veterinary Medicine. 98, 19-28.
- Wieland, B., Alarcon, P., Velasova, M., Nevel, A., Towrie, H., Pfeiffer, D., Wathes, C., Werling, D. Prevalence of endemic pig diseases in Engalnd: an overview six months into a large-scale cross-sectional study on Post-Weaning Multi-systemic Wasting Syndrome (PMWS). The Pig Journal 63 (2010) pp. 20-24.
Pablo contribute to development of material and teaching delivery to a variety of students at the Royal Veterinary College. He provides teaching on:
- Animal health economics to undergraduate veterinary students
- Food safety and Veterinary Public health teaching in abattoirs to undergraduate veterinary students
- Animal health economics to the students in the MSc in Veterinary Epidemiology and MSc One Health
- Provide support to distant learning MSc students
Pablo also participates actively in the supervision of BSc and BVetMed research projects and MSc Veterinary Epidemiology and MSc One Health dissertations.
The aims of this PhD were to determine the accuracy of antibiotic usage data being recorded by dairy farmers on farm, identify factors influencing accurate recording, assess the drivers and barriers to record and share such data and to explore the economic cost of recording. Antibiotic usage (ABU) has become recognised as the main driver for the selection and spread of antibiotic resistance (ABR) within the human and livestock sectors.
The project aims to improve understanding of the impact of Thoroughbreds’ early-life health and management on later-life racing performance and the financial viability of Thoroughbred breeding enterprises.
Findings from the project will align with key priorities from the Thoroughbred industry’s welfare strategy. Firstly, by increasing transparency around the fate and welfare of Thoroughbreds bred for racing during their early-life stages, and secondly by informing strategies to reduce musculoskeletal disease and injury and improve industry retention and economic viability.
With integrated streams of social, economic, biological, mathematical and policy-led research, we are co-producing detailed knowledge on the biological, structural and socio-economic factors that shape networks of chicken production and distribution. The RVC-led UKRI GCRF One Health Poultry Hub brings together leading laboratory, clinical, veterinary and social scientists, as well as skilled communications experts, programme support staff and external stakeholders.