Developing an integrated livestock-human infectious disease management framework for the dairy farm environment

Fathke , Robert, author
Rao, Sangeeta, advisor
Pinedo, Pablo, committee member
Reynolds, Stephen, committee member
Duncan, Colleen, committee member
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This research aimed to develop a framework integrating cattle and human infectious disease prevention in the dairy farm environment. Infectious disease dynamics on dairy farms can be complex, with various factors impacting cattle and human health. The advent of the COVID-19 pandemic reminded the world of the complexities of disease dynamics and prevention. Biosecurity is key to infectious disease prevention on dairy farm settings, but preventive efforts might not focus on both cattle and human health. Those trained in veterinary medicine may be especially suited to help bridge this animal-human gap on dairy farms, as these professionals understand disease dynamics and may be trusted to serve in this capacity. Infectious disease risk assessment tools for dairy farms might not fully integrate human health. Developing more integrated risk assessment tools first requires a greater understanding of existing tools and dairy farmer knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding cattle and human infectious disease prevention. The research described biosecurity, biosafety, and identified potential areas of overlap to create a foundational integrated animal-human infectious disease prevention model. A systematic literature review was conducted on animal producer knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding personal protective equipment for zoonotic disease prevention. Current biosecurity and biosafety assessment surveys and tools applicable to dairy farm environment were also assessed for structure, content, and degree of human health integration. Assessment of the survey questions and score report from one of these tools included obtaining feedback from a small sample of Front Range Colorado dairy producers. A knowledge, attitudes, and practices questionnaire including elements of cattle and human infectious disease prevention was developed, and data was collected from 50 personnel, including workers and supervisors, across six Front Range Colorado dairy farms. This work found that the word "biosecurity" has many definitions that can vary by profession setting. Many elements of efforts aimed at preventing animal diseases can also be effective in preventing human diseases. Personal protective equipment is an example of such an element. Systematically reviewing literature on personal protective equipment knowledge, attitudes, and practices revealed that animal producers often fail to use preventive measures and may not always perceive zoonoses as a threat. Assessment of existing infectious disease risk assessment tools revealed that none fully and directly integrated human infectious disease prevention. Producer feedback on one tool focusing on cattle health provided valuable feedback on tool design and helped shape recommendations for developing integrated tools. Construction of the integrated knowledge, attitudes, and practices questionnaire was a novel approach to creating a research tool that integrates animal and human infectious disease prevention. Results revealed strengths and weaknesses in knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding zoonotic disease prevention and helped identify elements that can be addressed to develop a shared understanding between dairy farm supervisors and workers.
Includes bibliographical references.
2023 Spring.
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