Computational models to improve surveillance for cassava brown streak disease and minimize yield loss

by Alex C. Ferris, Richard O. J. H. Stutt, David Godding, Christopher A. Gilligan

Cassava brown streak disease (CBSD) is a rapidly spreading viral disease that affects a major food security crop in sub-Saharan Africa. Currently, there are several proposed management interventions to minimize loss in infected fields. Field-scale data comparing the effectiveness of these interventions individually and in combination are limited and expensive to collect. Using a stochastic epidemiological model for the spread and management of CBSD in individual fields, we simulate the effectiveness of a range of management interventions. Specifically we compare the removal of diseased plants by roguing, preferential selection of planting material, deployment of virus-free ‘clean seed’ and pesticide on crop yield and disease status of individual fields with varying levels of whitefly density crops under low and high disease pressure. We examine management interventions for sustainable production of planting material in clean seed systems and how to improve survey protocols to identify the presence of CBSD in a field or quantify the within-field prevalence of CBSD. We also propose guidelines for practical, actionable recommendations for the deployment of management strategies in regions of sub-Saharan Africa under different disease and whitefly pressure.

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Paper source
Plos Journal

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