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Carly Rozins, Troy Day, Scott Greenhalgh
The industrialization of farming has had an enormous impact. To most, this impact is viewed solely in the context of productivity, but the denser living conditions and shorter rearing periods of industrial livestock farms provide pathogens with an ideal opportunity to spread and evolve. For example, the industrialization of poultry farms drove the Marek's disease virus (MDV) to evolve from a mild paralytic syndrome to a highly contagious, globally prevalent, deadly disease. Fortunately, the economic catastrophe that would occur from MDV evolution is prevented through the widespread use of live imperfect vaccines that limit disease symptoms, but fail to prevent transmission...
February 2, 2019: Epidemics
D Hansson, K Y Leung, T Britton, S Strömdahl
HIV is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) whose transmission process is highly dependent on the sexual network structure of the population under consideration. Most sexual behaviour data is egocentric in nature. We develop a stochastic dynamic sexual network model that utilises this type of egocentric network data. The model incorporates both steady and casual sex partners, and can be seen as a stochastic form of a generalised pair-formation model. We model the spread of an infection where individuals are susceptible, infectious, or successfully treated (and unable to transmit) and derive analytical expressions for several epidemiological quantities...
February 2, 2019: Epidemics
Diego Montecino-Latorre, Brian L Cypher, Jaime L Rudd, Deana L Clifford, Jonna A K Mazet, Janet E Foley
Sarcoptic mange is a skin disease caused by the mite Sarcoptes scabiei that can devastate populations of wild species. S. scabiei can survive off-host and remain infective for specific periods. In den-dwelling species, dislodged mites could be protected from the environmental conditions that impair their survival thus supporting pathogen transmission. To assess the potential role of dens in the spread, establishment, and persistence of sarcoptic mange in a population of hosts, we constructed an agent-based model of the endangered San Joaquin kit fox (SJKF; Vulpes macrotis mutica) population in Bakersfield, California, that explicitly considered the denning ecology and behavior of this species...
January 8, 2019: Epidemics
Zhijing Xu, Patricia M Graves, Colleen L Lau, Archie Clements, Nicholas Geard, Kathryn Glass
In this study, a spatially-explicit agent-based modelling framework GEOFIL was developed to predict lymphatic filariasis (LF) transmission dynamics in American Samoa. GEOFIL included individual-level information on age, gender, disease status, household location, household members, workplace/school location and colleagues/schoolmates at each time step during the simulation. In American Samoa, annual mass drug administration from 2000 to 2006 successfully reduced LF prevalence dramatically. However, GEOFIL predicted continual increase in microfilaraemia prevalence in the absence of further intervention...
December 29, 2018: Epidemics
Ivy K Kombe, Patrick K Munywoki, Marc Baguelin, D James Nokes, Graham F Medley
INTRODUCTION: Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) causes a significant respiratory disease burden in the under 5 population. The transmission pathway to young children is not fully quantified in low-income settings, and this information is required to design interventions. METHODS: We used an individual level transmission model to infer transmission parameters using data collected from 493 individuals distributed across 47 households over a period of 6 months spanning the 2009/2010 RSV season...
December 15, 2018: Epidemics
T N Vilches, M F Bonesso, H M Guerra, C M C B Fortaleza, A W Park, C P Ferreira
Healthcare-associated infections cause significant patient morbidity and mortality, and contribute to growing healthcare costs, whose effects may be felt most strongly in developing countries. Active surveillance systems, hospital staff compliance, including hand hygiene, and a rational use of antimicrobials are among the important measures to mitigate the spread of healthcare-associated infection within and between hospitals. Klebsiella pneumoniae is an important human pathogen that can spread in hospital settings, with some forms exhibiting drug resistance, including resistance to the carbapenem class of antibiotics, the drugs of last resort for such infections...
November 30, 2018: Epidemics
Olivier le Polain de Waroux, Stefan Flasche, Adam J Kucharski, Celine Langendorf, Donny Ndazima, Juliet Mwanga-Amumpaire, Rebecca F Grais, Sandra Cohuet, W John Edmunds
Although patterns of social contacts are believed to be an important determinant of infectious disease transmission, it remains unclear how the frequency and nature of human interactions shape an individual's risk of infection. We analysed data on daily social encounters individually matched to data on S. pneumoniae carriage and acute respiratory symptoms (ARS), from 566 individuals who took part in a survey in South-West Uganda. We found that the frequency of physical (i.e. skin-to-skin), long (≥1 h) and household contacts - which capture some measure of close (i...
December 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...
December 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...
December 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...
December 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...
December 2018: Epidemics
Martha I Nelson, James O Lloyd-Smith, Lone Simonsen, Andrew Rambaut, Edward C Holmes, Gerardo Chowell, Mark A Miller, David J Spiro, Bryan Grenfell, Cécile Viboud
Due to a combination of ecological, political, and demographic factors, the emergence of novel pathogens has been increasingly observed in animals and humans in recent decades. Enhancing global capacity to study and interpret infectious disease surveillance data, and to develop data-driven computational models to guide policy, represents one of the most cost-effective, and yet overlooked, ways to prepare for the next pandemic. Epidemiological and behavioral data from recent pandemics and historic scourges have provided rich opportunities for validation of computational models, while new sequencing technologies and the 'big data' revolution present new tools for studying the epidemiology of outbreaks in real time...
October 23, 2018: Epidemics
J A Backer, J Wallinga, A Meijer, G A Donker, W van der Hoek, M van Boven
Influenza epidemics annually cause substantial morbidity and mortality. For this reason, vaccination is offered yearly to persons with an elevated risk for complications. Assessments of the impact of vaccination are, however, hampered by year-to-year variation in epidemic size and vaccine effectiveness. We estimate the impact of the current vaccination programme comparing simulations with vaccination to counterfactual simulations without vaccination. The simulations rely on an age- and risk-structured transmission model that tracks the build-up and loss of immunity over successive seasons, and that allows the vaccine match to vary between seasons...
October 11, 2018: Epidemics
J A Backer, M van Boven, W van der Hoek, J Wallinga
Seasonal influenza causes a high disease burden. Many influenza vaccination programmes target the elderly and persons at high risk of complications. Some countries have recommended or even implemented a paediatric vaccination programme. Such a programme is expected to reduce influenza transmission in the population, offering direct protection to the vaccinated children and indirect protection to the elderly. We study the impact of a child vaccination programme with an age- and risk-structured transmission model, calibrated to data of 11 influenza seasons in the Netherlands...
October 10, 2018: Epidemics
Stephen M Kissler, Julia R Gog, Cécile Viboud, Vivek Charu, Ottar N Bjørnstad, Lone Simonsen, Bryan T Grenfell
A key issue in infectious disease epidemiology is to identify and predict geographic sites of epidemic establishment that contribute to onward spread, especially in the context of invasion waves of emerging pathogens. Conventional wisdom suggests that these sites are likely to be in densely-populated, well-connected areas. For pandemic influenza, however, epidemiological data have not been available at a fine enough geographic resolution to test this assumption. Here, we make use of fine-scale influenza-like illness incidence data derived from electronic medical claims records gathered from 834 3-digit ZIP (postal) codes across the US to identify the key geographic establishment sites, or "hubs", of the autumn wave of the 2009 A/H1N1pdm influenza pandemic in the United States...
October 10, 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...
September 2018: Epidemics
Adel Elghafghuf, Raphael Vanderstichel, Sophie St-Hilaire, Henrik Stryhn
Sea lice are marine parasites affecting salmon farms, and are considered one of the most costly pests of the salmon aquaculture industry. Infestations of sea lice on farms significantly increase opportunities for the parasite to spread in the surrounding ecosystem, making control of this pest a challenging issue for salmon producers. The complexity of controlling sea lice on salmon farms requires frequent monitoring of the abundance of different sea lice stages over time. Industry-based data sets of counts of lice are amenable to multivariate time-series data analyses...
September 2018: Epidemics
Kimberly VanderWaal, Andres Perez, Montse Torremorrell, Robert M Morrison, Meggan Craft
Epidemiological models of the spread of pathogens in livestock populations primarily focus on direct contact between farms based on animal movement data, and in some cases, local spatial spread based on proximity between premises. The roles of other types of indirect contact among farms is rarely accounted for. In addition, data on animal movements is seldom available in the United States. However, the spread of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv) in U.S. swine represents one of the best documented emergences of a highly infectious pathogen in the U...
September 2018: Epidemics
Joost H Smid, Victor Garcia, Nicola Low, Catherine H Mercer, Christian L Althaus
Heterosexual partners often differ in age. Integrating realistic patterns of sexual mixing by age into dynamic transmission models has been challenging. The effects of these patterns on the transmission of sexually transmitted infections (STI) including Chlamydia trachomatis (chlamydia), the most common bacterial STI are not well understood. We describe age mixing between new heterosexual partners using age- and sex-specific data about sexual behavior reported by people aged 16-63 years in the 2000 and 2010 British National Surveys of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles...
September 2018: Epidemics
Wan Yang, Matthew J Cummings, Barnabas Bakamutumaho, John Kayiwa, Nicholas Owor, Barbara Namagambo, Timothy Byaruhanga, Julius J Lutwama, Max R O'Donnell, Jeffrey Shaman
In this paper, we report the epidemic characteristics of the three co-circulating influenza viruses (i.e., A/H1N1, A/H3N2, and B) in two tropical African cities-Kampala and Entebbe, Uganda-over an eight-year period (2008-2015). Using wavelet methods, we show that influenza epidemics recurred annually during the study period. In most months, two or more influenza viruses co-circulated at the same time. However, the epidemic timing differed by influenza (sub)type. Influenza A/H3N2 caused epidemics approximately every 2 years in both cities and tended to alternate with A/H1N1 or B...
September 2018: Epidemics
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