#26 - Abagael Sykes: Creating a transmission model - what's the best way to stop ASF in the US?

swine health blackbelt Nov 02, 2022

As the old saying goes, it is better to be safe than sorry. That applies to ASF spread in the US too. Being prepared for ASF introduction and having the best possible plan in place to eliminate its spread is critical for our swine infrastructure. Hopefully we can do a better job at controlling it than we did with Covid-19. In this episode, I talk with Abby Sykes about her work creating an ASF transmission model to predict the best possible outcomes and what measures must be taken if a farm tests positive for the disease in order to keep it from spreading across the country. 



Meet the guest: 

Abagael Sykes graduated with a Bachelors in Biological Sciences from the Royal Veterinary College, London UK, in 2019 and went on to pursue a Masters degree in Epidemiology from Imperial College London, UK. During both her time at RVC and Imperial, she developed a keen research interest in the epizootic and zoonotic diseases leading her to join the Machado Lab at North Carolina State University, to investigate the dynamics of swine diseases. Since joining, Abagael has been involved in developing interpretable machine learning methods of assessing the risk of PRRSV outbreaks based on the implementation of biosecurity practices, and has used real company data to develop a transmission model to simulate the spread of African swine fever in the United States through multiple transmission routes.