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Article: Estimating the transmission potential of supercritical processes based on the final size distribution of minor outbreaks

TitleEstimating the transmission potential of supercritical processes based on the final size distribution of minor outbreaks
Authors
Issue Date2012
PublisherAcademic Press. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.elsevier.com/locate/yjtbi
Citation
Journal of Theoretical Biology, 2012, v. 294, p. 48-55 How to Cite?
AbstractUse of the final size distribution of minor outbreaks for the estimation of the reproduction numbers of supercritical epidemic processes has yet to be considered. We used a branching process model to derive the final size distribution of minor outbreaks, assuming a reproduction number above unity, and applying the method to final size data for pneumonic plague. Pneumonic plague is a rare disease with only one documented major epidemic in a spatially limited setting. Because the final size distribution of a minor outbreak needs to be normalized by the probability of extinction, we assume that the dispersion parameter (k) of the negative-binomial offspring distribution is known, and examine the sensitivity of the reproduction number to variation in dispersion. Assuming a geometric offspring distribution with k=1, the reproduction number was estimated at 1.16 (95% confidence interval: 0.97-1.38). When less dispersed with k=2, the maximum likelihood estimate of the reproduction number was 1.14. These estimates agreed with those published from transmission network analysis, indicating that the human-to-human transmission potential of the pneumonic plague is not very high. Given only minor outbreaks, transmission potential is not sufficiently assessed by directly counting the number of offspring. Since the absence of a major epidemic does not guarantee a subcritical process, the proposed method allows us to conservatively regard epidemic data from minor outbreaks as supercritical, and yield estimates of threshold values above unity.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/151757
ISSN
2015 Impact Factor: 2.049
2015 SCImago Journal Rankings: 1.089
PubMed Central ID
ISI Accession Number ID
Funding AgencyGrant Number
University of Hong Kong201109159007
Harvard Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics from the US National Institutes of Health1 U54 GM088558
Japan Science and Technology Agency PRESTO
Funding Information:

This study was supported by the University of Hong Kong Seed Funding Program for Basic Research (Project Code: 201109159007), the Harvard Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics from the US National Institutes of Health Models of Infectious Disease Agent Study (MIDAS) program (award number 1 U54 GM088558) and the Japan Science and Technology Agency PRESTO program. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences or the National Institutes of Health.

References

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorNishiura, Hen_US
dc.contributor.authorYan, Pen_US
dc.contributor.authorSleeman, CKen_US
dc.contributor.authorMode, CJen_US
dc.date.accessioned2012-06-26T06:27:55Z-
dc.date.available2012-06-26T06:27:55Z-
dc.date.issued2012en_US
dc.identifier.citationJournal of Theoretical Biology, 2012, v. 294, p. 48-55en_US
dc.identifier.issn0022-5193en_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/151757-
dc.description.abstractUse of the final size distribution of minor outbreaks for the estimation of the reproduction numbers of supercritical epidemic processes has yet to be considered. We used a branching process model to derive the final size distribution of minor outbreaks, assuming a reproduction number above unity, and applying the method to final size data for pneumonic plague. Pneumonic plague is a rare disease with only one documented major epidemic in a spatially limited setting. Because the final size distribution of a minor outbreak needs to be normalized by the probability of extinction, we assume that the dispersion parameter (k) of the negative-binomial offspring distribution is known, and examine the sensitivity of the reproduction number to variation in dispersion. Assuming a geometric offspring distribution with k=1, the reproduction number was estimated at 1.16 (95% confidence interval: 0.97-1.38). When less dispersed with k=2, the maximum likelihood estimate of the reproduction number was 1.14. These estimates agreed with those published from transmission network analysis, indicating that the human-to-human transmission potential of the pneumonic plague is not very high. Given only minor outbreaks, transmission potential is not sufficiently assessed by directly counting the number of offspring. Since the absence of a major epidemic does not guarantee a subcritical process, the proposed method allows us to conservatively regard epidemic data from minor outbreaks as supercritical, and yield estimates of threshold values above unity.en_US
dc.languageengen_US
dc.publisherAcademic Press. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.elsevier.com/locate/yjtbien_US
dc.relation.ispartofJournal of Theoretical Biologyen_US
dc.subject.meshBasic Reproduction Numberen_US
dc.subject.meshDisease Outbreaks - statistics and numerical dataen_US
dc.subject.meshHumansen_US
dc.subject.meshModels, Biologicalen_US
dc.subject.meshPlague - epidemiology - transmissionen_US
dc.titleEstimating the transmission potential of supercritical processes based on the final size distribution of minor outbreaksen_US
dc.typeArticleen_US
dc.identifier.emailNishiura, H: nishiura@hku.hken_US
dc.identifier.authorityNishiura, H=rp01488en_US
dc.description.naturelink_to_OA_fulltexten_US
dc.identifier.doi10.1016/j.jtbi.2011.10.039en_US
dc.identifier.pmid22079419-
dc.identifier.pmcidPMC3249525-
dc.identifier.scopuseid_2-s2.0-81055137611en_US
dc.identifier.hkuros203803-
dc.relation.referenceshttp://www.scopus.com/mlt/select.url?eid=2-s2.0-81055137611&selection=ref&src=s&origin=recordpageen_US
dc.identifier.volume294en_US
dc.identifier.spage48en_US
dc.identifier.epage55en_US
dc.identifier.isiWOS:000299353300006-
dc.publisher.placeUnited Kingdomen_US
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridMode, CJ=7004843745en_US
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridSleeman, CK=7801371143en_US
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridYan, P=35787589500en_US
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridNishiura, H=7005501836en_US
dc.identifier.citeulike10019406-

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