BackgroundFoot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is a highly contagious viral disease of cloven-hoofed animals. As a transboundary animal disease, the prevention and control of FMD are important. This study was based on spatial multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) to assess FMD risk areas in mainland China. Ten risk factors were identified for constructing risk maps by scoring, and the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) was used to calculate the criteria weights of all factors. Different risk factors had different units and attributes, and fuzzy membership was used to standardize the risk factors. The weighted linear combination (WLC) and one-at-a-time (OAT) were used to obtain risk and uncertainty maps as well as to perform sensitivity analysis.
ResultsFour major risk areas were identified in mainland China, including western (parts of Xinjiang and Tibet), southern (parts of Yunnan, Guizhou, Guangxi, Sichuan and Guangdong), northern (parts of Gansu, Ningxia and Inner Mongolia), and eastern (parts of Hebei, Henan, Anhui, Jiangsu and Shandong). Spring is the main season for FMD outbreaks. Risk areas were associated with the distance to previous outbreak points, grazing areas and cattle density. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis indicated that the risk map had good predictive power (AUC=0.8634).
ConclusionsThese results can be used to delineate FMD risk areas in mainland China, and veterinary services can adopt the targeted preventive measures and control strategies.