Brucellosis is an infectious disease that imposes a vast burden on livelihoods as a result of human disease and impaired livestock productivity. Control of ruminant brucellosis has been achieved with different degrees of success in several settings by applying a range of diagnostics and vaccines. Control programs based on targeted, strategic vaccination of some groups of animals may be a cost-effective way of significantly reducing the prevalence in endemic areas when resources are limited and animal movement between infected and non-infected herds cannot be fully avoided. However, although vaccines are effective at protecting animals from infection and reducing the prevalence of disease in the long term, an important problem of the use of vaccination is the inability to differentiate between truly infected and vaccinated animals with conventional diagnostic tests.
In this project our aim is to carry out a detailed study of the epidemiology of brucellosis in bovines and humans in Punjab, including the use of novel diagnostic tests that can differentiate between vaccinated and infected animals. We will use the results to create computer models that we could use to simulate the effect of a control strategy that incorporates the use of these tests.