Cummings, Derek

Public Health - Epidemiology

Using viral sequences to characterize the micro-scale dispersal dynamics of dengue in Bangkok

Phylogenetic analyses have increasingly been applied to pathogen populations. By combining the knowledge of when and where individuals get sick with the particular genotype of the infecting pathogen we can track pathogen movements through an area, both in space and in time. This information can be used to design prevention strategies and understand the key drivers of pathogen dispersal and persistence. By characterizing the changing clustering patterns of cases over time, we can potentially detect the spatial scale at which protective immunity is correlated. Identification of spatial pockets of immunity or lack thereof, could identify areas to target with interventions. Dengue fever is a potentially life threatening viral infection that is transmitted by mosquitoes. It is endemic in many tropical and subtropical regions. We will use data from patients that presented at a Bangkok hospital between 1995 and 2010, including their geocoded home addresses and information on the infecting pathogen to gain insight into the dispersal dynamics of the disease. We hypothesize that there will be significant spatiotemporal clustering between cases of closely related viruses reflecting the dispersal of pathogen as it moves from individual to individual. Furthermore, disease clustering will be followed by a reduction of cases in particular spatial locations due to population immunity. This study will develop a range of geographical and genetic analysis methods. The findings could lead to improved disease intervention efforts and approaches applicable to other diseases. We will support our methods with simulations, demonstrating their robustness to dynamic patterns of spatiotemporal dependence.

People

Robert Bollinger Jr., MD MPH

Director, Johns Hopkins Center for Clinical Global Health Education (CCGHE); Associate Director, Johns Hopkins Center for Global...

Stefan Baral, MD MPH,MBA,MSc

Director, Key Populations Program

Caitlin Kennedy, PhD MPH,BA

Co-Director, MPH concentration in Social and Behavioral Sciences in Public Health; Associate Director, Center for Qualitative...

Joanne Katz, ScD MS,BSc

Associate Chair, Director of Academic Programs

Yukari C. Manabe, MD

Associate Director of Global Health Research and Innovation

Noreen Hynes, MD MPH

Director, Geographic Medicine Center of the Division of Infectious Diseases
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August 2018

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