Vaccination is a suitable tool in the control of Aujeszky's disease outbreaks in pigs using a Population Dynamics P systems model
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Aujeszky's disease is one of the main pig viral diseases and results in considerable economic losses in the pork production industry. The disease can be controlled using preventive measures such as improved stock management and vaccination throughout the pig-rearing period. We developed a stochastic model based on Population Dynamics P systems (PDP) models for a standard pig production system to differentiate between the effects of pig farm management regimes and vaccination strategies on the control of Aujeszky's disease under several different epidemiological scenarios. Our results suggest that after confirming the diagnosis, early vaccination of most of the population (>75%) is critical to decrease the spread of the virus and minimize its impact on pig productivity. The direct economic cost of an outbreak of Aujeszky's disease can be extremely high on a previously uninfected farm (from 352-792 Euros/sow/year) and highlights the positive benefits of investing in vaccination measures to control infections. We demonstrate the usefulness of computational models as tools in the evaluation of preventive medicine programs aimed at limiting the impact of disease on animal production.