472 research outputs found

    Products of Compartmental Models in Epidemiology.

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    We show that many structured epidemic models may be described using a straightforward product structure in this paper. Such products, derived from products of directed graphs, may represent useful refinements including geographic and demographic structure, age structure, gender, risk groups, or immunity status. Extension to multistrain dynamics, that is, pathogen heterogeneity, is also shown to be feasible in this framework. Systematic use of such products may aid in model development and exploration, can yield insight, and could form the basis of a systematic approach to numerical structural sensitivity analysis

    Agreement of Anterior Segment Parameters Obtained From Swept-Source Fourier-Domain and Time-Domain Anterior Segment Optical Coherence Tomography.

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    PurposeTo assess the interdevice agreement between swept-source Fourier-domain and time-domain anterior segment optical coherence tomography (AS-OCT).MethodsFifty-three eyes from 41 subjects underwent CASIA2 and Visante OCT imaging. One hundred eighty-degree axis images were measured with the built-in two-dimensional analysis software for the swept-source Fourier-domain AS-OCT (CASIA2) and a customized program for the time-domain AS-OCT (Visante OCT). In both devices, we examined the angle opening distance (AOD), trabecular iris space area (TISA), angle recess area (ARA), anterior chamber depth (ACD), anterior chamber width (ACW), and lens vault (LV). Bland-Altman plots and intraclass correlation (ICC) were performed. Orthogonal linear regression assessed any proportional bias.ResultsICC showed strong correlation for LV (0.925) and ACD (0.992) and moderate agreement for ACW (0.801). ICC suggested good agreement for all angle parameters (0.771-0.878) except temporal AOD500 (0.743) and ARA750 (nasal 0.481; temporal 0.481). There was a proportional bias in nasal ARA750 (slope 2.44, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.95-3.18), temporal ARA750 (slope 2.57, 95% CI: 2.04-3.40), and nasal TISA500 (slope 1.30, 95% CI: 1.12-1.54). Bland-Altman plots demonstrated in all measured parameters a minimal mean difference between the two devices (-0.089 to 0.063); however, evidence of constant bias was found in nasal AOD250, nasal AOD500, nasal AOD750, nasal ARA750, temporal AOD500, temporal AOD750, temporal ARA750, and ACD. Among the parameters with constant biases, CASIA2 tends to give the larger numbers.ConclusionsBoth devices had generally good agreement. However, there were proportional and constant biases in most angle parameters. Thus, it is not recommended that values be used interchangeably

    Hamiltonian analysis of subcritical stochastic epidemic dynamics

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    We extend a technique of approximation of the long-term behavior of a supercritical stochastic epidemic model, using the WKB approximation and a Hamiltonian phase space, to the subcritical case. The limiting behavior of the model and approximation are qualitatively different in the subcritical case, requiring a novel analysis of the limiting behavior of the Hamiltonian system away from its deterministic subsystem. This yields a novel, general technique of approximation of the quasistationary distribution of stochastic epidemic and birth-death models, and may lead to techniques for analysis of these models beyond the quasistationary distribution. For a classic SIS model, the approximation found for the quasistationary distribution is very similar to published approximations but not identical. For a birth-death process without depletion of susceptibles, the approximation is exact. Dynamics on the phase plane similar to those predicted by the Hamiltonian analysis are demonstrated in cross-sectional data from trachoma treatment trials in Ethiopia, in which declining prevalences are consistent with subcritical epidemic dynamics

    Identifying a sufficient core group for trachoma transmission.

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    BackgroundIn many infectious diseases, a core group of individuals plays a disproportionate role in transmission. If these individuals were effectively prevented from transmitting infection, for example with a perfect vaccine, then the disease would disappear in the remainder of the community. No vaccine has yet proven effective against the ocular strains of chlamydia that cause trachoma. However, repeated treatment with oral azithromycin may be able to prevent individuals from effectively transmitting trachoma.Methodology/principal findingsHere we assess several methods for identifying a core group for trachoma, assuming varying degrees of knowledge about the transmission process. We determine the minimal core group from a completely specified model, fitted to results from a large Ethiopian trial. We compare this benchmark to a core group that could actually be identified from information available to trachoma programs. For example, determined from the rate of return of infection in a community after mass treatments, or from the equilibrium prevalence of infection.Conclusions/significanceSufficient groups are relatively easy for programs to identify, but will likely be larger than the theoretical minimum

    Short-term leprosy forecasting from an expert opinion survey.

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    We conducted an expert survey of leprosy (Hansen's Disease) and neglected tropical disease experts in February 2016. Experts were asked to forecast the next year of reported cases for the world, for the top three countries, and for selected states and territories of India. A total of 103 respondents answered at least one forecasting question. We elicited lower and upper confidence bounds. Comparing these results to regression and exponential smoothing, we found no evidence that any forecasting method outperformed the others. We found evidence that experts who believed it was more likely to achieve global interruption of transmission goals and disability reduction goals had higher error scores for India and Indonesia, but lower for Brazil. Even for a disease whose epidemiology changes on a slow time scale, forecasting exercises such as we conducted are simple and practical. We believe they can be used on a routine basis in public health