Foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) causes morbidity and mortality in a range of animals and threatens local economies by acting as a barrier to international trade. The outbreak in the United Kingdom in 2001 that cost billions to control highlighted the risk that the pathogen poses to agriculture. In response, several mathematical models have been developed to parameterize and predict both transmission dynamics and optimal disease control. However, a lack of understanding of the multi-strain etiology prevents characterization of multi-strain dynamics. Here, we use data from FMDV serology in an endemic setting to probe strain-specific transmission and immunodynamics. Five serotypes of FMDV affect cattle in the Far North Region of Cameroon. We fit both catalytic and reverse catalytic models to serological data to estimate the force of infection and the rate of waning immunity, and to detect periods of sustained transmission. For serotypes SAT2, SAT3, and type A, a model assuming life-long immunity fit better. For serotypes SAT1 and type O, the better-fit model suggests that immunity may wane over time. Our analysis further indicates that type O has the greatest force of infection and the longest duration of immunity. Estimates for the force of infection were time-varying and indicated that serotypes SAT1 and O displayed endemic dynamics, serotype A displayed epidemic dynamics, and SAT2 and SAT3 did not sustain local chains of transmission. Since these results were obtained from the same population at the same time, they highlight important differences in transmission specific to each serotype. They also show that immunity wanes at rates specific to each serotype, which influences patterns of local persistence. Overall, this work shows that viral serotypes can differ significantly in their epidemiological and immunological characteristics. Patterns and processes that drive transmission in endemic settings must consider complex viral dynamics for accurate representation and interpretation.
Modeling the movements of humans and animals is critical to understanding the transmission of infectious diseases in complex social and ecological systems. In this paper, we focus on the movements of pastoralists in the Far North Region of Cameroon, who follow an annual transhumance by moving between rainy and dry season pastures. Describing, summarizing, and modeling the transhumance movements in the region are important steps for understanding the role these movements may play in the transmission of infectious diseases affecting humans and animals. We collected data on this transhumance system for four years using a combination of surveys and GPS mapping. An analysis on the spatial and temporal characteristics of pastoral mobility suggests four transhumance modes, each with its own properties. Modes M1 and M2 represent the type of transhumance movements where pastoralists settle in a campsite for a relatively long period of time (=20 days) and then move around the area without specific directions within a seasonal grazing area. Modes M3 and M4 on the other hand are the situations when pastoralists stay in a campsite for a relatively short period of time (