Dr Panayiota Touloupou - Statistical methods for linking geostatistical maps and transmission models
Presented by Dr Panayiota Touloupou (Birmingham)
Geostatistical modelling is increasingly used in epidemiology to combine surveys from multiple locations into a detailed model of local prevalence or incidence. Spatial heterogeneity is recognised as an important epidemiological factor in many diseases, however predictions of future cases are frequently performed on aggregated data, risking the epidemiological fallacy. When mathematical modelling is used to evaluate potential intervention strategies, spatial heterogeneity is also frequently ignored. Motivated by this fact, we developed a novel methodology to combine geospatial models of disease prevalence with transmission models of epidemic dynamics in order to make maps of future projections of disease. An important feature of the approach is the ability to capture uncertainty at every stage through a Bayesian framework.
The value of using the developed methodology is demonstrated on lymphatic filariasis in Africa, where by exploring the effect of a variety of intervention strategies on the future predictions, we will able to give advice to the national control programmes on the best routes towards elimination with their appropriate uncertainty.
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