Journey to Cambodia (3/3)
Day 3 - ABM workshop in Cambodia
On the 13th of December (2023), MERFI organised a workshop where Alex Smajgl presented the draft ABM model and its interface. The presentation was followed by a discussion.
The ABM model integrates the BCOMING outputs for different sites in Guadeloupe, Guinea and Cambodia using the same method. The model aims to simulate spillover events and visualises the risks to allow communities to develop strategies to mitigate zoonotic risks. It includes households as agent types with their diets, transmission pathways, livelihoods. Lots of the data comes from the household surveys. The model also considers bats as major carriers and bridge species such as monkeys, cattle, civets, domestic cats, and lesser rice field rats. The model takes into account various dimensions such as the probability of a species being in a certain area, the likelihood of a bat being infected, and the probability of human interference in the area. The model still has gaps, and one question is whether this can be filled with existing literature or through the Work Packages (WPs).
Julia presented the findings of a sampling they did in Stung Teng cave. During Julia's presentation, it was observed that there were SARS COV 2 like infections in bats in Stung Treng (9 out of 867), in the cave they were sampling, as shown by the data. Alex questioned how he could work with this data if the value was almost zero. It seems that there is a very low risk of transmission from bats to humans, at least in Cambodia. So one question is how to visualise an event which very rarely happens.
Fig.1: ABM workshop in Cambodia
It was decided that the species considered in the model will be reduced to wildlife (e.g. civets), peridomestic (e.g. rats, cats), domestic animals (cattle), and bats. Different scenarios will be shown, mainly focusing on surveillance schemes, which will support the community-level co-design process.
It was decided to distinguish between infection events and transmission events. Infection events are situations in which humans get infected but don’t get sick or at least don’t infect other humans. Transmission events are actual outbreaks involving human-to-human transmission. It was decided after lengthy discussions based on a handful of studies that infection events will need to occur on average (!) every 2 years while outbreaks with human-to-human transmission would occur every 20 years.