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Centre for Statistics (CENSTAT) : project R-7543

Title : New translational methods towards the estimation of age- and timedependent epidemiological parameters for pertussis resurgence in Belgium using serial seroprevalence and incidence data (R-7543)
Abstract: The aim of the research project is to develop new advanced, state-of-the-art methodology for epidemiologists and biostatisticians interested in modeling infectious disease spread from person to person. More specifically, we focus on combining various data sources for the estimation of age and time-varying epidemiological parameters governing the spread of infectious diseases in naive or partly immunized populations. Special attention is directed towards the study of pertussis, or whooping cough, which remains an important public health concern in many industrialized countries with large outbreaks despite vaccination. Quantification of pertussis outbreak risk is therefore of utmost importance to establish adequate intervention strategies. However, this is complicated by the presence of individual heterogeneity in susceptibility, infectiousness and social contact behavior (i.e., propensity to make contact with others) which needs to be accounted for in disease spread models. In conclusion, there are two main objectives in this proposal: (1) Develop new statistical methods for the estimation of key time-varying epidemiological parameters describing disease spread using serial seroprevalence data and to integrate all available data sources into these models; (2) Account for individual heterogeneity in acquiring infections as well as in waning processes in the newly developed methodology.
Period of project : 1/01/2017to31/12/2020

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