Three SIMID members joined the International Conference on Infectious Disease Dynamics in December, 2019, to share three days of intense dialogue on our ideas, data, insight, models and methods. It was great to promote our work and to meet other researchers to discuss future research opportunities:

Dr. Pietro Coletti

[ORAL]  On the generalisability of within household contact networks and impact on epidemic spread. We considered two samples of within-household contact networks in Flanders, Belgium, which used very similar survey instruments but very different sampling designs. By applying the principles of model-based survey sampling inference, we combined the strengths of the two datasets, obtaining parameter estimates that are applicable for to the whole population. We used these parameter estimates in a household transmission model, to assess the impact of parameter estimation on disease transmission.

[POSTER] The impact of regular school closure on seasonal influenza epidemics. School closure is often considered as an option to mitigate influenza epidemics because of its potential to reduce transmission in children. We introduced a stochastic spatial age-specific metapopulation model to assess the role of holiday-associated behavioral changes and how they affect seasonal influenza dynamics. The model is parameterized with country-specific data on social mixing and travel, and calibrated to surveillance data. Stochastic numerical simulations show that holidays delay the peak of the season and mitigate its impact.

Dr. Tapiwa Ganyani

[POSTER] Inferring the generalized-growth model via maximum likelihood estimation: a reflection on the impact of overdispersion. The generalized-growth model is a flexible approach to characterise growth dynamics of disease outbreaks during the early ascending phase. In this work, by using classical maximum likelihood estimation to obtain parameter estimates, we evaluate the impact of varying levels of overdispersion on the inference of the growth scaling parameter through comparing Poisson and Negative binomial models.

Dr. Lander Willem

[POSTER] Lessons learned from a multi-country model application for RSV among children under 5 years in Gavi-eligible countries. Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a global cause of lower respiratory tract infections (LRTI) in children under 5 years of age and RSV vaccines and monoclonal antibody candidates are under development. We evaluated the cost-effectiveness of maternal vaccination and infant mAb for 72 Gavi-eligible countries.

[POSTER] Cost-benefit analysis of employer-funded quadrivalent influenza vaccination. Seasonal influenza causes economic burden for employers through absenteeism. We estimated the cost savings of influenza vaccination in Belgium from the employers’ perspective using a dynamic transmission model incorporating age, health state and temporal factors.