Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Efficient use of sentinel sites: Detection of invasive honeybee pests and diseases in the UK

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Giles Budge



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2017 The Authors. Sentinel sites, where problems can be identified early or investigated in detail, form an important part of planning for exotic disease outbreaks in humans, livestock and plants. Key questions are: how many sentinels are required, where should they be positioned and how effective are they at rapidly identifying new invasions? The sentinel apiary system for invasive honeybee pests and diseases illustrates the costs and benefits of such approaches. Here, we address these issues with two mathematical modelling approaches. The first approach is generic and uses probabilistic arguments to calculate the average number of affected sites when an outbreak is first detected, providing rapid and general insights that we have applied to a range of infectious diseases. The second approach uses a computationally intensive, stochastic, spatial model to simulate multiple outbreaks and to determine appropriate sentinel locations for UKapiaries. Both models quantify the anticipated increase in success of sentinel sites as their number increases and as non-sentinel sites become worse at detection; however, unexpectedly sentinels perform relatively better for faster growing outbreaks. Additionally, the spatial model allows us to quantify the substantial role that carefully positioned sentinels can play in the rapid detection of exotic invasions.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Keeling MJ, Datta S, Franklin DN, Flatman I, Wattam A, Brown M, Budge GE

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of the Royal Society Interface

Year: 2017

Volume: 14

Online publication date: 26/04/2017

Acceptance date: 03/04/2017

Date deposited: 02/06/2017

ISSN (print): 1742-5689

ISSN (electronic): 1742-5662

Publisher: Royal Society


DOI: 10.1098/rsif.2016.0908


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric


Funder referenceFunder name