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The Use of Meta-Analysis for the Measurement of Animal Disease Burden: Losses Due to Clinical Mastitis as an Example

Abstract : The literature contains an extensive panel of studies focusing on the costs of animal diseases. The losses of an agriculture holding can be influenced by many factors since farming is a complex system and diseases are closely interrelated. Meta-analysis can be used to detect effects (i.e., change in clinical mastitis losses here) across studies and to identify factors that may influence those effects. This includes the external validity of the published study results with regard to the input parameters and the internal validity of the study, particularly how other diseases related to the target disease were accounted for. Mixed-effect meta-regressions were performed to estimate the mean clinical mastitis losses per case across the literature and to elucidate to what extent clinical mastitis losses are influenced by (i) general factors, such as etiology; (ii) the types of losses that contribute to the total mastitis losses; and (iii) prices. In total, 82 observations from nine studies were included in the meta-analysis to assess mean clinical mastitis losses per case. The multivariate meta-regression showed that etiology significantly influenced the clinical mastitis loss per case. The mean loss was determined to be euro224 per case for all published etiologies. In detail, mean losses equalled euro457 and euro101 per case of clinical mastitis due to gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria, respectively, and euro428 and euro74 per case of clinical mastitis due to Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus, respectively. Additionally, the mean loss obtained depended on whether diagnostic costs and reduced feed intake in cases of mastitis were included in the clinical mastitis loss calculation. The monetary values of labor cost, drug cost and culling cost, as well as treatment price (all included), significantly influenced the clinical mastitis losses per case. All other tested moderators were not associated with mastitis losses, highlighting the need for more standardized economic studies, for both methods and ways results are presented, and suggesting that the mastitis losses assessed in the literature cannot be extrapolated (limited external validity). Although meta-analyses are useful to overview the burden of diseases across studies, their ability to summarize extensive literature with various economic assessments is limited. These limitations in loss assessments also suggest the need to focus on management strategies rather than on pure monetary estimations of disease costs, at least for production diseases at the farm level.
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Contributor : Christine Riou <>
Submitted on : Friday, April 23, 2021 - 5:41:28 PM
Last modification on : Friday, June 4, 2021 - 2:40:24 PM


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Didier Raboisson, Ahmed Ferchiou, Beate Pinior, Thomas Gautier, Pierre Sans, et al.. The Use of Meta-Analysis for the Measurement of Animal Disease Burden: Losses Due to Clinical Mastitis as an Example. Frontiers in Veterinary Science, Frontiers Media, 2020, 7, pp.149. ⟨10.3389/fvets.2020.00149⟩. ⟨hal-03206995⟩



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