Publications and Resources
Ausvet has a strong commitment to developing epidemiological skills around the planet. To this end, we have produced a range of books and software most of which are freely available for download. The Ausvet team has also made significant contributions to the scientific literature, covering the wide range of our skills and experience. Many of these publications are listed on this page.
Evidence-based medicine in further investigation of the hypothesised relationship between grain-free diets and acquired dilated cardiomyopathy in dogs
Alison Hillman, Brendan Cowled, Krista Howden (2020)
In the veterinary community, concerns have been raised of an association between grain-free diets and acquired dilated cardiomyopathy in dogs. This prompted investigation by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), announced in July 2018.
Observations by veterinary medicine clinicians have driven identification of important causal factors of veterinary diseases. However, it is essential that these observations are subject to rigorous scientific investigation before conclusions are drawn. This approach is the cornerstone of evidence-based medicine, contributes to understanding of the pathophysiology of disease, and informs objective decision making at the regulatory level.
Ausvet and One Health Scientific Solutions are keen to promote the application of evidence-based medicine in further investigation of this hypothesised relationship between grain-free diets and acquired dilated cardiomyopathy in dogs. This Technical White Paper outlines some key considerations going forward.
Business Continuity in the Face of African Swine Fever: Compartmentalisation and Company Biosecurity
B. Cowled, A.R. Cameron, A.Meyer, P. Dagg, K. Howden (2019)
African Swine Fever (ASF) has been continuing its global spread, with reports of newly affected areas almost weekly. In the absence of a vaccine, controlling movement of potentially infected pigs and pork products is vital to reducing the spread, but this is causing enormous disruption to trade internationally. This white paper provides some background to the use of compartmentalisation to ensure business continuity in the face of this disease, if it were to ever occur in free countries.
Many disease eradication campaigns use long-term mass vaccination. As duration increases, so does the total cost, but effectiveness and sustainability decrease, risking fatigue and failure. Instead of this old style of trench warfare Angus proposes a guerrilla strategy which relies on exceptionally good, timely intelligence, rapid vaccination strikes in small areas and keep moving.
Angus argues that for peste des petits ruminants eradication, this new approach addresses key challenges: ineffective surveillance and movement management. PPR can be rapidly eliminated from small populations by achieving very high levels of vaccination coverage for a short period. The key is to use these new surveillance approaches to prevent the re-introduction of disease as immunity wanes, and to respond rapidly to local outbreaks. This necessarily involves high levels of community engagement.
Angus Cameron (1999)
Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research
ACIAR Monograph No 54, 330 pages, ISBN 1 86320 234 X
Survey Toolbox has become a standard text for undertaking field surveys for animal diseases, particular in developing country settings. It provides an easy to read overview of survey techniques, including sampling theory, data and specimen collection, interview technique, and data management. It applies this theory to the practical implementation of prevalence and incidence surveys, as well as surveys to demonstrate freedom from disease.
Angus Cameron (2002)
Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research
ACIAR Monograph No 94, 372 pages, ISBN 1 86320 351 6
This volume grew out of the earlier Survey Toolbox, but recognises the special challenges faced when undertaking surveillance for aquatic animal diseases. The structure of the book allows it to be used on three different levels – for planners, trainers and field operational staff. The language used is designed to be easily understandable by people speaking English as a second language.
Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources (IBAR)
This book was born out of a simple question: If I have very limited resources in my country, what is the most important basic animal disease surveillance that I should be doing? This manual aims to assist veterinary authorities in developing countries in deciding on the best approach to animal disease surveillance, depending on their own needs and capabilities. Part one establishes a framework
for deciding on the best approach to surveillance. This involves:
- Identifying the various purposes of surveillance, and the information requirements to meet each of these purposes
- Identifying the surveillance tools available, their characteristics and the information that they are able to generate; and
- Matching the tool to the purpose of surveillance
A. Cameron, F. Njeumi, D. Chibeu and T. Martin (2014)
Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, ISBN 978-92-5-108637-7
Risk-based surveillance is not a particular technique; rather, it describes a general approach to undertaking disease surveillance. The principle is simple and self-evident: the most efficient way to find disease is to survey the animal populations that are most likely to be affected. This is in contrast to the more traditional statistically-based approach of taking representative samples from a population. While the idea of risk-based surveillance is simple, the implications are complex. The approach can be much more cost-effective for some purposes, but if misused, it can lead to serious errors or it can be more expensive than traditional approaches.
This manual guides the surveillance designer through the principles and applications of risk-based surveillance, and provides techniques for the valid analysis of the results of surveillance.
Evan Sergeant and Nigel Perkins (2015)
CABI, ISBN 978-1-84593-683-9
Intended as an introduction for veterinarians and other animal health professionals interested in and wishing to apply epidemiological methods in their day-to-day work, this book provides a practical guide for those new to the field. Its applied focus covers the principles of epidemiology in real world situations and practical implementation of disease outbreak investigation, for both emerging and endemic diseases. Techniques and methods are discussed, supported by case studies and practical examples to illustrate their application. The book is clearly written and accessible, providing readers with practical information and encouraging the development of problem-solving skills. It is an essential handbook for veterinary surgeons and students and those involved in animal health, food safety and epidemiology.
Containment zones for control of transboundary animal diseases
Prepared for the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources
By Ausvet – Angus Cameron, Jonathan Happold, Anne Meyer, Emma Zalcman
Scenario Trees to Quantify Confidence in Freedom from Disease - "Freedom on a Stick"
How to use: download this archive (178 MB) and extract the files on a USB stick, directly in its root folder. Then, double-click on the “start” file and wait for a page to be opened in your Web browser. When you are finished, close the Web browser and double-click on the “stop” file for a clean shutdown.