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Wayne M Getz, Richard Salter, Oliver Muellerklein, Hyun S Yoon, Krti Tallam
Epidemiological models are dominated by compartmental models, of which SIR formulations are the most commonly used. These formulations can be continuous or discrete (in either the state-variable values or time), deterministic or stochastic, or spatially homogeneous or heterogeneous, the latter often embracing a network formulation. Here we review the continuous and discrete deterministic and discrete stochastic formulations of the SIR dynamical systems models, and we outline how they can be easily and rapidly constructed using Numerus Model Builder, a graphically-driven coding platform...
July 12, 2018: Epidemics
Van Kinh Nguyen, César Parra-Rojas, Esteban A Hernandez-Vargas
From August to November 2017, Madagascar endured an outbreak of plague. A total of 2417 cases of plague were confirmed, causing a death toll of 209. Public health intervention efforts were introduced and successfully stopped the epidemic at the end of November. The plague, however, is endemic in the region and occurs annually, posing the risk of future outbreaks. To understand the plague transmission, we collected real-time data from official reports, described the outbreak's characteristics, and estimated transmission parameters using statistical and mathematical models...
June 1, 2018: Epidemics
Claudia T Codeço, Daniel A M Villela, Flavio C Coelho
The effective reproduction number, Rt , is a measure of transmission that can be calculated from standard incidence data to timely detect the beginning of epidemics. It has being increasingly used for surveillance of directly transmitted diseases. However, current methods for Rt estimation do not apply for vector borne diseases, whose transmission cycle depends on temperature. Here we propose a method that provides dengue's Rt estimates in the presence of temperature-mediated seasonality and apply this method to simulated and real data from two cities in Brazil where dengue is endemic...
May 31, 2018: Epidemics
Yu-Han Kao, Marisa C Eisenberg
Mathematical modeling has an extensive history in vector-borne disease epidemiology, and is increasingly used for prediction, intervention design, and understanding mechanisms. Many studies rely on parameter estimation to link models and data, and to tailor predictions and counterfactuals to specific settings. However, few studies have formally evaluated whether vector-borne disease models can properly estimate the parameters of interest given the constraints of a particular dataset. Identifiability analysis allows us to examine whether model parameters can be estimated uniquely-a lack of consideration of such issues can result in misleading or incorrect parameter estimates and model predictions...
May 26, 2018: Epidemics
Michael A Irvine, T Déirdre Hollingsworth
Fitting complex models to epidemiological data is a challenging problem: methodologies can be inaccessible to all but specialists, there may be challenges in adequately describing uncertainty in model fitting, the complex models may take a long time to run, and it can be difficult to fully capture the heterogeneity in the data. We develop an adaptive approximate Bayesian computation scheme to fit a variety of epidemiologically relevant data with minimal hyper-parameter tuning by using an adaptive tolerance scheme...
May 26, 2018: Epidemics
Denise Kühnert, Mireia Coscolla, Daniela Brites, David Stucki, John Metcalfe, Lukas Fenner, Sebastien Gagneux, Tanja Stadler
The fast evolution of pathogenic viruses has allowed for the development of phylodynamic approaches that extract information about the epidemiological characteristics of viral genomes. Thanks to advances in whole genome sequencing, they can be applied to slowly evolving bacterial pathogens like Mycobacterium tuberculosis. In this study, we investigate and compare the epidemiological dynamics underlying two M. tuberculosis outbreaks using phylodynamic methods. Specifically, we (i) test if the outbreak data sets contain enough genetic variation to estimate short-term evolutionary rates and (ii) reconstruct epidemiological parameters such as the effective reproduction number...
May 22, 2018: Epidemics
Roxanne Beauclair, Niel Hens, Wim Delva
BACKGROUND: Age-disparate relationships are thought to put young women at increased risk of HIV, though current evidence is inconclusive. Studying population-level age-mixing patterns as well as individual-level measures of age difference variation may provide insight into the persistence and magnitude of the epidemic in South Africa. METHODS: We used data from a survey in Cape Town (n = 506) to describe age-mixing dynamics in the four population strata of HIV negative and HIV positive male and female participants...
May 18, 2018: Epidemics
Caroline E Walters, Margaux M I Meslé, Ian M Hall
Mathematical models can aid in the understanding of the risks associated with the global spread of infectious diseases. To assess the current state of mathematical models for the global spread of infectious diseases, we reviewed the literature highlighting common approaches and good practice, and identifying research gaps. We followed a scoping study method and extracted information from 78 records on: modelling approaches; input data (epidemiological, population, and travel) for model parameterization; model validation data...
May 18, 2018: Epidemics
Noémie Courtejoie, Henrik Salje, Benoît Durand, Gina Zanella, Simon Cauchemez
Bluetongue virus is a vector-borne pathogen affecting ruminants that has caused major epidemics in France. Reconstructing the history of bluetongue in French cattle under control strategies such as vaccination has been hampered by the high level of sub-clinical infection, incomplete case data and poor understanding of vaccine uptake over time and space. To tackle these challenges, we used three age-structured serological surveys carried out in cattle (N = 22,342) from ten administrative subdivisions called departments...
May 17, 2018: Epidemics
Trystan Leng, Matt J Keeling
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are a globally increasing public health problem. Mathematical models, carefully matched to available epidemiological and behavioural data, have an important role to play in predicting the action of control measures. Here, we explore the effect of concurrent sexual partnerships on the control of a generic STI with susceptible-infected-susceptible dynamics. Concurrency refers to being in more than one sexual partnership at the same time, and is difficult to measure accurately...
May 14, 2018: Epidemics
Amanda Minter, Peter J Diggle, Federico Costa, James Childs, Albert I Ko, Mike Begon
Leptospirosis is a zoonosis that humans can contract via contact with animal reservoirs directly or with water contaminated with their urine. The primary reservoir of pathogenic leptospires within urban slum environments is the Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus). Motivated by the annual outbreaks of human leptospirosis in slum urban settings, the within population infection dynamics of the Norway rat were investigated in Pau da Lima, an community in Salvador, Brazil. A mechanistic model of the dynamics of leptospire infection was informed by extensive field and laboratory data was developed and explored analytically...
May 5, 2018: Epidemics
Jessica Enright, Rowland Raymond Kao
In many populations, the patterns of potentially infectious contacts are transients that can be described as a network with dynamic links. The relative timescales of link and contagion dynamics and the characteristics that drive their tempos can lead to important differences to the static case. Here, we propose some essential nomenclature for their analysis, and then review the relevant literature. We describe recent advances in they apply to infection processes, considering all of the methods used to record, measure and analyse them, and their implications for disease transmission...
April 28, 2018: Epidemics
Sarah Tan, Susanna Makela, Daliah Heller, Kevin Konty, Sharon Balter, Tian Zheng, James H Stark
Existing methods to estimate the prevalence of chronic hepatitis C (HCV) in New York City (NYC) are limited in scope and fail to assess hard-to-reach subpopulations with highest risk such as injecting drug users (IDUs). To address these limitations, we employ a Bayesian multi-parameter evidence synthesis model to systematically combine multiple sources of data, account for bias in certain data sources, and provide unbiased HCV prevalence estimates with associated uncertainty. Our approach improves on previous estimates by explicitly accounting for injecting drug use and including data from high-risk subpopulations such as the incarcerated, and is more inclusive, utilizing ten NYC data sources...
June 2018: Epidemics
G Ciaravino, A García-Saenz, S Cabras, A Allepuz, J Casal, I García-Bocanegra, A De Koeijer, S Gubbins, J L Sáez, D Cano-Terriza, S Napp
In Spain, despite years of efforts to eradicate bovine tuberculosis (bTB), the disease is still endemic, with some areas of high prevalence. In this context, the surveillance and control plans may need to be re-evaluated, and understanding the dynamics of bTB spread within Spanish herds may help to develop new strategies for reducing the time for detection of infected herds and for the elimination of bTB from the herds already infected. Here, we developed a compartmental stochastic model to simulate bTB within-herd transmission, fed it with epidemiological data from 22 herds (obtained from a previous work) and carried out parameter inference using Approximate Bayesian Computing methods We also estimated the "Within-herd transmission potential Number" (Rh ), i...
June 2018: Epidemics
David A Kennedy, Patricia A Dunn, Andrew F Read
Marek's disease virus (MDV) is a pathogen of chickens whose control has twice been undermined by pathogen evolution. Disease ecology is believed to be the main driver of this evolution, yet mathematical models of MDV disease ecology have never been confronted with data to test their reliability. Here, we develop a suite of MDV models that differ in the ecological mechanisms they include. We fit these models with maximum likelihood using iterated filtering in 'pomp' to data on MDV concentration in dust collected from two commercial broiler farms...
June 2018: Epidemics
Chris Rorres, Maria Romano, Jennifer A Miller, Jana M Mossey, Tony H Grubesic, David E Zellner, Gary Smith
Contact tracing is a crucial component of the control of many infectious diseases, but is an arduous and time consuming process. Procedures that increase the efficiency of contact tracing increase the chance that effective controls can be implemented sooner and thus reduce the magnitude of the epidemic. We illustrate a procedure using Graph Theory in the context of infectious disease epidemics of farmed animals in which the epidemics are driven mainly by the shipment of animals between farms. Specifically, we created a directed graph of the recorded shipments of deer between deer farms in Pennsylvania over a timeframe and asked how the properties of the graph could be exploited to make contact tracing more efficient should Chronic Wasting Disease (a prion disease of deer) be discovered in one of the farms...
June 2018: Epidemics
Samit Bhattacharyya, Matthew J Ferrari, Ottar N Bjørnstad
Incidence of whooping cough exhibits variable dynamics across time and space. The periodicity of this disease varies from annual to five years in different geographic regions in both developing and developed countries. Many hypotheses have been put forward to explain this variability such as nonlinearity and seasonality, stochasticity, variable recruitment of susceptible individuals via birth, immunization, and immune boosting. We propose an alternative hypothesis to describe the variability in periodicity - the intricate dynamical variability of whooping cough may arise from interactions between its dominant etiological agents of Bordetella pertussis and Bordetella parapertussis...
June 2018: Epidemics
Íde Cremin, Oliver Watson, Alastair Heffernan, Natsuko Imai, Norin Ahmed, Sandra Bivegete, Teresia Kimani, Demetris Kyriacou, Preveina Mahadevan, Rima Mustafa, Panagiota Pagoni, Marisa Sophiea, Charlie Whittaker, Leo Beacroft, Steven Riley, Matthew C Fisher
The study of infectious disease outbreaks is required to train today's epidemiologists. A typical way to introduce and explain key epidemiological concepts is through the analysis of a historical outbreak. There are, however, few training options that explicitly utilise real-time simulated stochastic outbreaks where the participants themselves comprise the dataset they subsequently analyse. In this paper, we present a teaching exercise in which an infectious disease outbreak is simulated over a five-day period and subsequently analysed...
June 2018: Epidemics
Samantha R Schwab, Chris M Stone, Dina M Fonseca, Nina H Fefferman
With the emergence or re-emergence of numerous mosquito-borne diseases in recent years, effective methods for emergency vector control responses are necessary to reduce human infections. Current vector control practices often vary significantly between different jurisdictions, and are executed independently and at different spatial scales. Various types of surveillance information (e.g. number of human infections or adult mosquitoes) trigger the implementation of control measures, though the target and scale of surveillance vary locally...
June 2018: Epidemics
Floor Biemans, Piter Bijma, Natasja M Boots, Mart C M de Jong
Digital Dermatitis (DD) is a claw disease mainly affecting the hind feet of dairy cattle. Digital Dermatitis is an infectious disease, transmitted via the environment, where the infectious "agent" is a combination of bacteria. The standardized classification for DD lesions developed by Döpfer et al. (1997) and extended by Berry et al. (2012) has six distinct classes: healthy (M0), an active granulomatous area of 0-2 cm (M1), an ulcerative lesion of >2 cm (M2), an ulcerative lesion covered by a scab (M3), alteration of the skin (M4), and a combination of M4 and M1 (M4...
June 2018: Epidemics
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