Systems analysis of social pathways of epidemics to reduce health disparities

Project Contact: Achla Marathe
Funding agency: National Institutes of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), National Institutes of Health (NIH)   National Institutes of Health National Institute of General Medical Sciences logo

The objective of this R01 is to incorporate social behavior into mathematical models of infectious disease transmission dynamics, with a focus on influenza like illness. The inferences of this project will improve our understanding of the impact of different control and prevention strategies for infectious disease epidemics in general and Influenza epidemics in particular. Our hypothesis is that individual behavior, disease dynamics, and interventions coevolve across multiple scales to create statistically and epidemiologically significant differences in the efficacy and social equity of public health policies such as infectious disease control strategies.

This project extends well studied computational simulations to include people's behaviors relevant to infectious disease epidemics and will be used to determine the consequences of feedback between population-level effects and individual-level behavior. In particular, we will determine the sensitivity of outcomes to particular behaviors. A survey designed to focus on those particular behaviors will be used to estimate variability across communities and to calibrate the simulations. Published models and results on Influenza transmissibility and intervention efficacy will be revisited with the improved simulations. Initially, our analysis will describe the mean performance of interventions over the whole population. The analyses will then extend to scenarios reflecting the observed variability in behavior to reveal how health disparities could arise from behavioral differences at the community level. Altogether, the results of the new and comparative analyses will inform the design of optimal epidemic interventions with fewer unintended consequences.

Project Team

Achla Marathe (Contact PI), Professor, Department of Public Health Sciences, Biocomplexity Institute & Initiative, UVA.
Kaja Abbas (mPI), Assistant Professor, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK
Samarth Swarup, Associate Research Professor, Biocomplexity Institute & Initiative, UVA.
Jiangzhuo Chen, Associate Research Professor, Biocomplexity Institute & Initiative, UVA.
Stephen Eubank, Professor, Department of Public Health Sciences, Biocomplexity Institute & Initiative, UVA.
Bryan Lewis, Associate Research Professor, Biocomplexity Institute & Initiative, UVA.
Pamela Murray-Tuite, Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Clemson University

Past and Current Students Supported on the Grant

Lijing Wang, PhD Computer Science, University of Virginia
Gloria Kang, MPH/PhD, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences, Virginia Tech
Narges Dorratoltaj, MPH (Infectious Disease) / PhD (Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences), Virginia Tech
Meghendra Singh, MS Computer Science, Virginia Tech
Kunal Singh, MS Civil and Environmental Engineering, Virginia Tech
Bowen Shi, PhD Economics, Virginia Tech
Arminder Deol, Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Selected Publications

Please see this document for selected publications supported by this project.

 

Dots