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Implementation of a Syndromic Surveillance Pilot Program in Selected Cattle Markets in Texas, USA


Syndromic surveillance of livestock animals at points of concentration, such as livestock markets, has the potential to provide early detection of endemic, zoonotic, transboundary, environmental, and newly emerging animal diseases and to identify animal health trends. In the United States, inspectors at livestock auction markets routinely observe animals for clinical signs of disease, but do not usually document the number of cattle or clinical signs observed. The purpose of this pilot program was to demonstrate the benefit and feasibility of utilizing inspectors at livestock markets to record the total number of animals observed and the number displaying body system-associated clinical signs/syndromes (BSAS). This project is a Federal and State partnership between the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Veterinary Services (VS) and the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC). The livestock market syndromic surveillance pilot project is part of a broader effort in VS to develop and monitor non-traditional animal health surveillance data streams. These data streams include clinical sign information from private veterinary practitioners, veterinary diagnostic laboratory test requests, and livestock slaughter facility condemnations.


To describe the design and implementation of a syndromic surveillance program in selected cattle markets in Texas, USA.

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