Matching Items (37)

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A Data-Driven Mathematical Model of CA-MRSA Transmission among Age Groups: Evaluating the Effect of Control Interventions

Description

Community associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) has become a major cause of skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs) in the US. We developed an age-structured compartmental model to study the

Community associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) has become a major cause of skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs) in the US. We developed an age-structured compartmental model to study the spread of CA-MRSA at the population level and assess the effect of control intervention strategies. We used Monte-Carlo Markov Chain (MCMC) techniques to parameterize our model using monthly time series data on SSTIs incidence in children (≤19 years) during January 2004 -December 2006 in Maricopa County, Arizona. Our model-based forecast for the period January 2007–December 2008 also provided a good fit to data. We also carried out an uncertainty and sensitivity analysis on the control reproduction number, R[subscript c] which we estimated at 1.3 (95% CI [1.2,1.4]) based on the model fit to data. Using our calibrated model, we evaluated the effect of typical intervention strategies namely reducing the contact rate of infected individuals owing to awareness of infection and decolonization strategies targeting symptomatic infected individuals on both and the long-term disease dynamics. We also evaluated the impact of hypothetical decolonization strategies targeting asymptomatic colonized individuals. We found that strategies focused on infected individuals were not capable of achieving disease control when implemented alone or in combination. In contrast, our results suggest that decolonization strategies targeting the pediatric population colonized with CA-MRSA have the potential of achieving disease elimination.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
  • 2013-11-21

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Homo-psychologicus: Reactionary behavioural aspects of epidemics

Description

We formulate an in silico model of pathogen avoidance mechanism and investigate its impact on defensive behavioural measures (e.g., spontaneous social exclusions and distancing, crowd avoidance and voluntary vaccination adaptation).

We formulate an in silico model of pathogen avoidance mechanism and investigate its impact on defensive behavioural measures (e.g., spontaneous social exclusions and distancing, crowd avoidance and voluntary vaccination adaptation). In particular, we use SIR(B)S (e.g., susceptible-infected-recovered with additional behavioural component) model to investigate the impact of homo-psychologicus aspects of epidemics. We focus on reactionary behavioural changes, which apply to both social distancing and voluntary vaccination participations. Our analyses reveal complex relationships between spontaneous and uncoordinated behavioural changes, the emergence of its contagion properties, and mitigation of infectious diseases. We find that the presence of effective behavioural changes can impede the persistence of disease. Furthermore, it was found that under perfect effective behavioural change, there are three regions in the response factor (e.g., imitation and/or reactionary) and behavioural scale factor (e.g., global/local) factors ρ–α behavioural space. Mainly, (1) disease is always endemic even in the presence of behavioural change, (2) behavioural-prevalence plasticity is observed and disease can sometimes be eradication, and (3) elimination of endemic disease under permanence of permanent behavioural change is achieved. These results suggest that preventive behavioural changes (e.g., non-pharmaceutical prophylactic measures, social distancing and exclusion, crowd avoidance) are influenced by individual differences in perception of risks and are a salient feature of epidemics. Additionally, these findings indicates that care needs to be taken when considering the effect of adaptive behavioural change in predicting the course of epidemics, and as well as the interpretation and development of the public health measures that account for spontaneous behavioural changes.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
  • 2015-10-14

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Apis mellifera octopamine receptor 1 (AmOA1) expression in antennal lobe networks of the honey bee (Apis mellifera) and fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster)

Description

Octopamine (OA) underlies reinforcement during appetitive conditioning in the honey bee and fruit fly, acting via different subtypes of receptors. Recently, antibodies raised against a peptide sequence of one honey

Octopamine (OA) underlies reinforcement during appetitive conditioning in the honey bee and fruit fly, acting via different subtypes of receptors. Recently, antibodies raised against a peptide sequence of one honey bee OA receptor, AmOA1, were used to study the distribution of these receptors in the honey bee brain (Sinakevitch et al., 2011). These antibodies also recognize an isoform of the AmOA1 ortholog in the fruit fly (OAMB, mushroom body OA receptor). Here we describe in detail the distribution of AmOA1 receptors in different types of neurons in the honey bee and fruit fly antennal lobes. We integrate this information into a detailed anatomical analysis of olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs), uni- and multi-glomerular projection neurons (uPNs, and mPNs) and local interneurons (LNs) in glomeruli of the antennal lobe. These neurons were revealed by dye injection into the antennal nerve, antennal lobe, medial and lateral antenno-protocerbral tracts (m-APT and l-APT), and lateral protocerebral lobe (LPL) by use of labeled cell lines in the fruit fly or by staining with anti-GABA. We found that ORN receptor terminals and uPNs largely do not show immunostaining for AmOA1. About seventeen GABAergic mPNs leave the antennal lobe through the ml-APT and branch into the LPL. Many, but not all, mPNs show staining for AmOA1. AmOA1 receptors are also in glomeruli on GABAergic processes associated with LNs. The data suggest that in both species one important action of OA in the antennal lobe involves modulation of different types of inhibitory neurons via AmOA1 receptors. We integrated this new information into a model of circuitry within glomeruli of the antennal lobes of these species.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
  • 2013-10-25

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Where Two Are Fighting, the Third Wins: Stronger Selection Facilitates Greater Polymorphism in Traits Conferring Competition-Dispersal Tradeoffs

Description

A major conundrum in evolution is that, despite natural selection, polymorphism is still omnipresent in nature: Numerous species exhibit multiple morphs, namely several abundant values of an important trait. Polymorphism

A major conundrum in evolution is that, despite natural selection, polymorphism is still omnipresent in nature: Numerous species exhibit multiple morphs, namely several abundant values of an important trait. Polymorphism is particularly prevalent in asymmetric traits, which are beneficial to their carrier in disruptive competitive interference but at the same time bear disadvantages in other aspects, such as greater mortality or lower fecundity. Here we focus on asymmetric traits in which a better competitor disperses fewer offspring in the absence of competition. We report a general pattern in which polymorphic populations emerge when disruptive selection increases: The stronger the selection, the greater the number of morphs that evolve. This pattern is general and is insensitive to the form of the fitness function. The pattern is somewhat counterintuitive since directional selection is excepted to sharpen the trait distribution and thereby reduce its diversity (but note that similar patterns were suggested in studies that demonstrated increased biodiversity as local selection increases in ecological communities). We explain the underlying mechanism in which stronger selection drives the population towards more competitive values of the trait, which in turn reduces the population density, thereby enabling lesser competitors to stably persist with reduced need to directly compete. Thus, we believe that the pattern is more general and may apply to asymmetric traits more broadly. This robust pattern suggests a comparative, unified explanation to a variety of polymorphic traits in nature.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
  • 2016-02-04

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Urban Economies and Occupation Space: Can They Get “There” from “Here”?

Description

Much of the socioeconomic life in the United States occurs in its urban areas. While an urban economy is defined to a large extent by its network of occupational specializations,

Much of the socioeconomic life in the United States occurs in its urban areas. While an urban economy is defined to a large extent by its network of occupational specializations, an examination of this important network is absent from the considerable body of work on the determinants of urban economic performance. Here we develop a structure-based analysis addressing how the network of interdependencies among occupational specializations affects the ease with which urban economies can transform themselves. While most occupational specializations exhibit positive relationships between one another, many exhibit negative ones, and the balance between the two partially explains the productivity of an urban economy. The current set of occupational specializations of an urban economy and its location in the occupation space constrain its future development paths. Important tradeoffs exist between different alternatives for altering an occupational specialization pattern, both at a single occupation and an entire occupational portfolio levels.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
  • 2013-09-09

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Time-Specific Ecologic Niche Models Forecast the Risk of Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome in Dongting Lake District, China, 2005–2010

Description

Background
Hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS), a rodent-borne infectious disease, is one of the most serious public health threats in China. Increasing our understanding of the spatial and temporal

Background
Hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS), a rodent-borne infectious disease, is one of the most serious public health threats in China. Increasing our understanding of the spatial and temporal patterns of HFRS infections could guide local prevention and control strategies.
Methodology/Principal Findings
We employed statistical models to analyze HFRS case data together with environmental data from the Dongting Lake district during 2005–2010. Specifically, time-specific ecologic niche models (ENMs) were used to quantify and identify risk factors associated with HFRS transmission as well as forecast seasonal variation in risk across geographic areas. Results showed that the Maximum Entropy model provided the best predictive ability (AUC = 0.755). Time-specific Maximum Entropy models showed that the potential risk areas of HFRS significantly varied across seasons. High-risk areas were mainly found in the southeastern and southwestern areas of the Dongting Lake district. Our findings based on models focused on the spring and winter seasons showed particularly good performance. The potential risk areas were smaller in March, May and August compared with those identified for June, July and October to December. Both normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and land use types were found to be the dominant risk factors.
Conclusions/Significance
Our findings indicate that time-specific ENMs provide a useful tool to forecast the spatial and temporal risk of HFRS.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
  • 2014-09-03

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A Population Based Study of Seasonality of Skin and Soft Tissue Infections: Implications for the Spread of CA-MRSA

Description

Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is currently a major cause of skin and soft tissue infections (SSTI) in the United States. Seasonal variation of MRSA infections in hospital settings has

Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is currently a major cause of skin and soft tissue infections (SSTI) in the United States. Seasonal variation of MRSA infections in hospital settings has been widely observed. However, systematic time-series analysis of incidence data is desirable to understand the seasonality of community acquired (CA)-MRSA infections at the population level. In this paper, using data on monthly SSTI incidence in children aged 0–19 years and enrolled in Medicaid in Maricopa County, Arizona, from January 2005 to December 2008, we carried out time-series and nonlinear regression analysis to determine the periodicity, trend, and peak timing in SSTI incidence in children at different age: 0–4 years, 5–9 years, 10–14 years, and 15–19 years. We also assessed the temporal correlation between SSTI incidence and meteorological variables including average temperature and humidity. Our analysis revealed a strong annual seasonal pattern of SSTI incidence with peak occurring in early September. This pattern was consistent across age groups. Moreover, SSTIs followed a significantly increasing trend over the 4-year study period with annual incidence increasing from 3.36% to 5.55% in our pediatric population of approximately 290,000. We also found a significant correlation between the temporal variation in SSTI incidence and mean temperature and specific humidity. Our findings could have potential implications on prevention and control efforts against CA-MRSA.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
  • 2013-04-02

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Optimizing Treatment Regimes to Hinder Antiviral Resistance in Influenza across Time Scales

Description

The large-scale use of antivirals during influenza pandemics poses a significant selection pressure for drug-resistant pathogens to emerge and spread in a population. This requires treatment strategies to minimize total

The large-scale use of antivirals during influenza pandemics poses a significant selection pressure for drug-resistant pathogens to emerge and spread in a population. This requires treatment strategies to minimize total infections as well as the emergence of resistance. Here we propose a mathematical model in which individuals infected with wild-type influenza, if treated, can develop de novo resistance and further spread the resistant pathogen. Our main purpose is to explore the impact of two important factors influencing treatment effectiveness: i) the relative transmissibility of the drug-resistant strain to wild-type, and ii) the frequency of de novo resistance. For the endemic scenario, we find a condition between these two parameters that indicates whether treatment regimes will be most beneficial at intermediate or more extreme values (e.g., the fraction of infected that are treated). Moreover, we present analytical expressions for effective treatment regimes and provide evidence of its applicability across a range of modeling scenarios: endemic behavior with deterministic homogeneous mixing, and single-epidemic behavior with deterministic homogeneous mixing and stochastic heterogeneous mixing. Therefore, our results provide insights for the control of drug-resistance in influenza across time scales.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
  • 2013-03-29

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Influenza and Pneumonia Mortality in 66 Large Cities in the United States in Years Surrounding the 1918 Pandemic

Description

The 1918 influenza pandemic was a major epidemiological event of the twentieth century resulting in at least twenty million deaths worldwide; however, despite its historical, epidemiological, and biological relevance, it

The 1918 influenza pandemic was a major epidemiological event of the twentieth century resulting in at least twenty million deaths worldwide; however, despite its historical, epidemiological, and biological relevance, it remains poorly understood. Here we examine the relationship between annual pneumonia and influenza death rates in the pre-pandemic (1910–17) and pandemic (1918–20) periods and the scaling of mortality with latitude, longitude and population size, using data from 66 large cities of the United States. The mean pre-pandemic pneumonia death rates were highly associated with pneumonia death rates during the pandemic period (Spearman ρ = 0.64–0.72; P<0.001). By contrast, there was a weak correlation between pre-pandemic and pandemic influenza mortality rates. Pneumonia mortality rates partially explained influenza mortality rates in 1918 (ρ = 0.34, P = 0.005) but not during any other year. Pneumonia death counts followed a linear relationship with population size in all study years, suggesting that pneumonia death rates were homogeneous across the range of population sizes studied. By contrast, influenza death counts followed a power law relationship with a scaling exponent of ∼0.81 (95%CI: 0.71, 0.91) in 1918, suggesting that smaller cities experienced worst outcomes during the pandemic. A linear relationship was observed for all other years. Our study suggests that mortality associated with the 1918–20 influenza pandemic was in part predetermined by pre-pandemic pneumonia death rates in 66 large US cities, perhaps through the impact of the physical and social structure of each city. Smaller cities suffered a disproportionately high per capita influenza mortality burden than larger ones in 1918, while city size did not affect pneumonia mortality rates in the pre-pandemic and pandemic periods.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
  • 2011-08-19

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Spatial and Temporal Characteristics of the 2009 A/H1N1 Influenza Pandemic in Peru

Description

Background
Highly refined surveillance data on the 2009 A/H1N1 influenza pandemic are crucial to quantify the spatial and temporal characteristics of the pandemic. There is little information about the spatial-temporal

Background
Highly refined surveillance data on the 2009 A/H1N1 influenza pandemic are crucial to quantify the spatial and temporal characteristics of the pandemic. There is little information about the spatial-temporal dynamics of pandemic influenza in South America. Here we provide a quantitative description of the age-specific morbidity pandemic patterns across administrative areas of Peru.
Methods
We used daily cases of influenza-like-illness, tests for A/H1N1 influenza virus infections, and laboratory-confirmed A/H1N1 influenza cases reported to the epidemiological surveillance system of Peru's Ministry of Health from May 1 to December 31, 2009. We analyzed the geographic spread of the pandemic waves and their association with the winter school vacation period, demographic factors, and absolute humidity. We also estimated the reproduction number and quantified the association between the winter school vacation period and the age distribution of cases.
Results
The national pandemic curve revealed a bimodal winter pandemic wave, with the first peak limited to school age children in the Lima metropolitan area, and the second peak more geographically widespread. The reproduction number was estimated at 1.6–2.2 for the Lima metropolitan area and 1.3–1.5 in the rest of Peru. We found a significant association between the timing of the school vacation period and changes in the age distribution of cases, while earlier pandemic onset was correlated with large population size. By contrast there was no association between pandemic dynamics and absolute humidity.
Conclusions
Our results indicate substantial spatial variation in pandemic patterns across Peru, with two pandemic waves of varying timing and impact by age and region. Moreover, the Peru data suggest a hierarchical transmission pattern of pandemic influenza A/H1N1 driven by large population centers. The higher reproduction number of the first pandemic wave could be explained by high contact rates among school-age children, the age group most affected during this early wave.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
  • 2011-06-21