Cost/benefit analyses on indicator-based intervention on physiological imbalance in dairy cows

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterResearchpeer-review


Objective: Physiological Imbalance is a pre-clinical disease state in dairy cows that cannot be directly observed but is assumed to precede subclinical and clinical diseases in the beginning of lactation in dairy cows. It is possible to detect the state of physiological imbalance using Fourier transform mid-infrared spectroscopy (FT-MIR) in milk but there are issues related to the accuracy of this prediction. The objective of this study was to estimate the costs and benefits associated with an indicator-based intervention against Physiological Imbalance with different indicator accuracies, herd prevalences and prices.
Materials and methods: We used a mechanistic, dynamic, and stochastic dairy herd model that simulates the production and state changes of dairy cows (SimHerd) to estimate the negative effects associated with the diseases that were mediated through Physiological Imbalance and developed an effect chart to quantify the cost and benefits associated with the outcome of the FT-MIR results and based on those a deterministic cost-benefit analysis. We assumed that the negative effects of Physiological Imbalance were prevented by supplementing the cows with propylene glycol for 5 days. We simulated the negative effects of disease and production mediated through Physiological Imbalance to be € 121 per case.
Results: The results showed that if the FT-MIR based indicator was accurate (Se=0.9/Sp=0.95) and the prevalence of physiological imbalance was 50% a total of € 42/cow/yr could be expected to be gained for paying for the indicator-based system.
Conclusion: In conclusion the results shows that final economic results to be highly variable to the prevalence of Physiological Imbalance, the costs associated with treatment and the cost associated with treating false positives and not treating false negatives. In addition, this study highlights the benefits of simulation to pinpoint where additional information is needed to further quantify the economic value and required accuracy of an indicator-based intervention system.
Original languageEnglish
Publication yearNov 2018
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018
EventThe 15th International Symposium of Veterinary Epidemiology and Economic. - Chiang Mai, Thailand
Duration: 12 Nov 201816 Nov 2018
Conference number: 15


ConferenceThe 15th International Symposium of Veterinary Epidemiology and Economic.
CityChiang Mai

    Research areas

  • Intervention, dairy herd, physiological imbalance, economics

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