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Pseudorabies in Feral Hogs in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Pseudorabies is a herpesvirus that is relatively harmless to hogs but is deadly to a number of other wild and domestic animals. Since it lowers the birthrate and infant survival of domestic swine, the USDA has worked hard to eliminate the disease from the domestic swine industry. Wild hogs are the largest reservoir for pseudorabies in the United States, and its prevalence in GSMNP has been increasing since 2005.

After considering recent results related to pseudorabies in feral hogs, I built a compartmental disease model into the metapopulation model to analyze the spread of the disease in wild hogs in the Park. This involved considering various potential transmission routes and fitting parameters to available data. Results provide evidence that more than one transmission route exists for pseudorabies in wild hog populations.

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