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Location: Subtropical Plant Pathology Research

Title: A conceptual framework for the evaluation of HLB surveillance activities.

item MASTIN, ALEXANDER - University Of Salford
item DREWE, JULIAN - Royal Veterinary College
item VAN DEN BOSCH, FRANK - Rothamsted Research
item Gottwald, Timothy
item PARNELL, STEPHEN - University Of Salford

Submitted to: Journal of Citrus Pathology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/20/2016
Publication Date: 5/18/2017
Citation: Mastin, A., Drewe, J., Van Den Bosch, F., Gottwald, T.R., Parnell, S. 2017. A conceptual framework for the evaluation of HLB surveillance activities.. Journal of Citrus Pathology. 4(1):28/45.

Interpretive Summary: It is important that disease surveys are carefully planned, implemented, and evaluated – preferably using a systematic methodology which is capable of capturing the wide range of potential aims of disease surveillance. Due to the variety of different epidemiological landscapes of HLB in the USA, a wide range of HLB survey schemes with different surveillance objectives are currently in place. We demonstrate how to validate these schemes using a structured framework, using three US states with different experiences of HLB as examples.

Technical Abstract: Surveillance activities play an integral part in disease prevention and control, and underpin the three main stages of disease mitigation: the prevention of entry and establishment of exotic pathogens; the detailed investigation of more established pathogens; and the monitoring of disease control measures [1]. As with any disease mitigation measure, it is important that surveillance activities are planned, implemented, and evaluated using scientifically valid approaches. This process of “survey validation” allows us to ensure that surveillance schemes are performing satisfactorily (from both a functional and an economic perspective), and allows appropriate adjustments to be made to improve survey performance and efficiency. Whilst survey validation is best achieved using a systematic methodology, the range of different surveillance aims in different settings means that this methodology must also be flexible. One way to achieve a suitable balance of structure and flexibility is to identify specific attributes of the surveillance aims as part of the validation process, which can then be used to determine which precise validation approaches are most appropriate [2]. Although HLB is a threat to the citrus industry throughout the USA, its impact upon the industry to date at the state level has varied. In Florida, HLB is thought to be well established throughout all commercial orchards; in Texas, it has been reported in some orchards but at lower levels than in Florida; and in California, the disease has not yet been detected in commercial orchards. As a result of this variation, the surveillance activities in place differ between the three states. We use a recently developed survey validation framework [2] to evaluate these HLB surveillance activities. Since our approach allows the different epidemiological scenarios in each state to be explicitly accounted for within the context of a standardised framework, strengths and weaknesses of the different surveillance schemes can be better identified.