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Estimation of basic reproduction numbers: individual heterogeneity and robustness to perturbation of the contact function

Farrington, C. Paddy; Unkel, Steffen and Anaya-Izquierdo, Karim (2013). Estimation of basic reproduction numbers: individual heterogeneity and robustness to perturbation of the contact function. Biostatistics, 14(3) pp. 528–540.

DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/biostatistics/kxs054
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Abstract

The basic reproduction number of an infection in a given population, R0, is inflated by individual heterogeneity in contact rates. Recently, new methods for estimating R0 using social contact data and serological survey data have been proposed. These methods, like most of their predecessors, ignore individual heterogeneity, and are sensitive to perturbation of the contact function. Using a frailty framework, we derive expressions for R0 in the presence of age-varying heterogeneity. In this case, R0 is the spectral radius of a population version of the next generation operator, which involves the variance function of the age-dependent frailty. This variance can be estimated within a shared frailty framework from paired data on two infections transmitted by the same route. We propose two estimators of R0 for infections in endemic equilibrium. We investigate their performance by simulation, and find that one is generally less efficient but more robust than the other to perturbation of the effective contact function. These methods are applied to data on varicella zoster virus infection from two European countries.

Item Type: Journal Article
Copyright Holders: 2012 The Author
ISSN: 1468-4357
Keywords: eigenfunction; eigenvalue; infectious disease; operator; social contact; time-varying frailty
Academic Unit/Department: Mathematics, Computing and Technology > Mathematics and Statistics
Mathematics, Computing and Technology
Item ID: 35636
Depositing User: Paddy Farrington
Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2012 08:43
Last Modified: 21 Jan 2016 10:50
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/35636
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