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Quantitative methods for the improved surveillance of emerging plant pathogens; an epidemiological approach

Stephen Parnell: University of Salford

<div>The rise in the number of newly-introduced plant pathogens in recent times has placed an increasing emphasis on effective surveillance strategies for the detection and monitoring of disease. We advocate a quantitative-based approach to surveillance and demonstrate how our work, that captures the epidemiology of pathogen populations, can be used to better target the use of surveillance resources. We outline a range of novel quantitative methods that allow us to address crucial questions in the surveillance of emerging diseases. For example: Following the first discovery of a disease in a new area, what prevalence will it have reached in the population? How often and how intensively do we need to survey to discover a new epidemic at a sufficiently early stage? In host-vector systems, should we focus early-detection survey efforts on sampling insect populations or sampling host plants? When disease risk varies across a landscape, where and when should we target our sampling efforts for improved detection? How can we optimize the design of surveys to improve mapping of invading pathogen populations? Finally, we discuss how an epidemiological-based approach can lead to the improved deployment and use of valuable new detection technologies, such as sensitive field-based diagnostics and remote sensing.</div>

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