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4. Epidemiology

We develop multi-scale model to better understand the connection between intervention and infectious disease epidemiology.

The spread of infectious diseases is regulated by two interconnected mechanisms with different scales. First, at the micro-scale (i.e., within a host), viral agents invade target cells, in which they replicate themselves. The host immune system is soon activated, and viruses are eventually cleared. Thus, the viral load and immune level in a host dramatically changes during and after an infection. Second, at the macro scale (i.e., population level), the infection spreads in the population through contacts between infectious and susceptible hosts. The transmission risk is also dependent on the viral load of infectious hosts. These two scales can be studied using mathematical modelling, and they have traditionally been studied separately. However, explicitly modelling both processes at the same time could shed new light on the epidemiology of infectious diseases and reveal how the biological mechanisms within each host shape the epidemiology of infectious diseases.

The goal of this project is the development of a novel multi-scale modelling framework connecting within-host viral and immune dynamics with the epidemiology of infectious diseases to address practical public health questions. The proposed framework is built upon the integration of infection-specific viral and immune dynamics models and detailed agent-based models of the transmission process between hosts and aims to bring non-incremental advances in the state of the art of mathematical and computational infectious disease modelling.

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