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Monday, July 10, 2023
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
CNLS Conference Room (TA-3, Bldg 1690)


Challenges in disease transmission modelling: scales, strains, and the immune system

Cameron Zachereson
University of Melbourne, Australia

The transmission of infectious diseases involves complex, dynamic processes on multiple scales. Within an infected host, immune dynamics and viral replication influence disease presentation and infectiousness, which in turn drives the dynamics of disease outbreaks and epidemic waves. Over long time scales, the infection history accumulated by an individual influences their susceptibility to future infection, a process that complicates the dynamics of multi-strain disease transmission through negative feedback. In this talk I will discuss several studies that highlight the important role of immune system processes in connecting different dynamic scales of infectious disease transmission. The first is a study of multi-strain endemic disease (Streptococcus pyogenes), emphasizing the complexity of multi-strain modelling for endemic pathogens. The second characterises a detailed model of within-host immune response and how this affects successive infection outcomes for influenza. The third study showcases simulations of multi-scale dynamics, and investigates how time-varying reproduction numbers can emerge when viral loads are correlated between hosts. Taken together, this presentation showcases the work of my group and my collaborators at the University of Melbourne, illustrating our findings and areas of interest with respect to modelling the complex dynamics of disease transmission on multiple spatiotemporal scales.

Related publications:

Lacey et al. Evaluating the role of asymptomatic throat carriage of Streptococcus pyogenes in impetigo transmission in remote Aboriginal communities in Northern Territory, Australia: a retrospective genomic analysis. The Lancet Microbe. 2023 May 18.

Chisholm et al. Epidemiological consequences of enduring strain-specific immunity requiring repeated episodes of infection. PLoS Computational Biology. 2020 Jun 5;16(6):e1007182.

Tellioglu et al. Modelling the effect of within–host dynamics on the diversity of a multi-strain pathogen. Journal of Theoretical Biology. 2022 Sep 7;548:111185.

Yan et al. Modelling cross-reactivity and memory in the cellular adaptive immune response to influenza infection in the host. Journal of Theoretical Biology. 2017 Jan 21;413:34-49.

Harris et al. 2023 Correlation of viral loads in disease transmission could affect early estimates of the reproduction number. J. R. Soc. Interface 20: 20220827.

Zachreson et al. Individual variation in vaccine immune response can produce bimodal distributions of protection. Available at SSRN 4370284.

Host: Sara Del Valle