Bayesian modeling of animal- and herd-level prevalences

A. J. Branscum, Ian Gardner, W. O. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

103 Scopus citations


We reviewed Bayesian approaches for animal-level and herd-level prevalence estimation based on cross-sectional sampling designs and demonstrated fitting of these models using the WinBUGS software. We considered estimation of infection prevalence based on use of a single diagnostic test applied to a single herd with binomial and hypergeometric sampling. We then considered multiple herds under binomial sampling with the primary goal of estimating the prevalence distribution and the proportion of infected herds. A new model is presented that can be used to estimate the herd-level prevalence in a region, including the posterior probability that all herds are non-infected. Using this model, inferences for the distribution of prevalences, mean prevalence in the region, and predicted prevalence of herds in the region (including the predicted probability of zero prevalence) are also available. In the models presented, both animal- and herd-level prevalences are modeled as mixture distributions to allow for zero infection prevalences. (If mixture models for the prevalences were not used, prevalence estimates might be artificially inflated, especially in herds and regions with low or zero prevalence.) Finally, we considered estimation of animal-level prevalence based on pooled samples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-112
Number of pages12
JournalPreventive Veterinary Medicine
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - Dec 15 2004


  • Bayesian modeling
  • Pooled samples
  • Prevalence estimation
  • WinBUGS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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