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Pig trade networks through live pig markets in Guangdong Province, China

Li, Y., Huang, B., Shen, C., Cai, C., Wang, Y., Edwards, J., Zhang, G. and Robertson, I.D.ORCID: 0000-0002-4255-4752 (2020) Pig trade networks through live pig markets in Guangdong Province, China. Transboundary and Emerging Diseases, 67 (3). pp. 1315-1329.

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This study used social network analysis to investigate the indirect contact network between counties through the movement of live pigs through four wholesale live pig markets in Guangdong Province, China. All 14,118 trade records for January and June 2016 were collected from the markets and the patterns of pig trade in these markets analysed. Maps were developed to show the movement pathways. Evaluating the network between source counties was the primary objective of this study. A 1‐mode network was developed. Characteristics of the trading network were explored, and the degree, betweenness and closeness were calculated for each source county. Models were developed to compare the impacts of different disease control strategies on the potential magnitude of an epidemic spreading through this network. The results show that pigs from 151 counties were delivered to the four wholesale live pig markets in January and/or June 2016. More batches (truckloads of pigs sourced from one or more piggeries) were traded in these markets in January (8,001) than in June 2016 (6,117). The pigs were predominantly sourced from counties inside Guangdong Province (90%), along with counties in Hunan, Guangxi, Jiangxi, Fujian and Henan provinces. The major source counties (46 in total) contributed 94% of the total batches during the two‐month study period. Pigs were sourced from piggeries located 10 to 1,417 km from the markets. The distribution of the nodes' degrees in both January and June indicates a free‐scale network property, and the network in January had a higher clustering coefficient (0.54 vs. 0.39) and a shorter average pathway length (1.91 vs. 2.06) than that in June. The most connected counties of the network were in the central, northern and western regions of Guangdong Province. Compared with randomly removing counties from the network, eliminating counties with higher betweenness, degree or closeness resulted in a greater reduction of the magnitude of a potential epidemic. The findings of this study can be used to inform targeted control interventions for disease spread through this live pig market trade network in south China.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Veterinary Medicine
Publisher: Blackwell-Wiss.-Verl
Copyright: © 2020 Blackwell Verlag GmbH
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