Insights for brucellosis eradication in Italy through a model-based spread evaluation in grazing livestock - Sicily case study


grazing livestock
brucellosis transmission process
eradication program
control strategy
infectious disease modelling
dynamical modelling
population dynamics

How to Cite

Savini, L., Candeloro, L., Calistri, P., Di Lorenzo, A., Perilli, M., Giovannini, A., & De Massis, F. (2023). Insights for brucellosis eradication in Italy through a model-based spread evaluation in grazing livestock - Sicily case study. Veterinaria Italiana, 59(1). https://doi.org/10.12834/VetIt.2934.20799.1


Brucellosis is one of the world's major zoonotic pathogens and is responsible for enormous economic losses as well as considerable human morbidity in endemic areas. Definitive control of human brucellosis requires control of brucellosis in livestock through practical solutions that can be easily applied to the field. In Italy, brucellosis remains endemic in several southern provinces, particularly in Sicily Region. The purpose of this paper is to describe the developed brucellosis model and its applications, trying to reproduce as faithfully as possible the complex transmission process of brucellosis accounting for the mixing of grazing animals. The model focuses on the contaminated environment rather than on the infected animal, uses real data from the main grazing areas of the Sicily Region, and aims to identify the best control options for minimizing the spread (and the prevalence) and to reach the eradication within the concerned areas. Simulation results confirmed the efficacy of an earlier application of the controls, showed the control should take place 30 days after going to pasture, and the culling time being negligible. Moreover, results highlighted the importance of the timing of both births and grazing pastures (and their interaction) more than other factors. As these factors are region‑specific, the study encourages the adoption of different and new eradication tools, tuned on the grazing and commercial behavior of each region. This study will be further extended to improve the model's adaptability to the real world, with the purpose of making the model an operational tool able to help decision makers in accelerating brucellosis eradication in Italy.



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Copyright (c) 2023 Lara Savini, Luca Candeloro, Paolo Calistri, Alessio Di Lorenzo, Margherita Perilli, Armando Giovannini, Fabrizio De Massis