An integrated framework for process-driven model construction in disease ecology and animal health

Mancy, R. , Brock, P. M. and Kao, R. R. (2017) An integrated framework for process-driven model construction in disease ecology and animal health. Frontiers in Veterinary Science, 4, 155. (doi: 10.3389/fvets.2017.00155) (PMID:29021983) (PMCID:PMC5623672)

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Process models that focus on explicitly representing biological mechanisms are increasingly important in disease ecology and animal health research. However, the large number of process modelling approaches makes it difficult to decide which is most appropriate for a given disease system and research question. Here, we discuss different motivations for using process models and present an integrated conceptual analysis that can be used to guide the construction of infectious disease process models and comparisons between them. Our presentation complements existing work by clarifying the major differences between modelling approaches and their relationship with the biological characteristics of the epidemiological system. We first discuss distinct motivations for using process models in epidemiological research, identifying the key steps in model design and use associated with each. We then present a conceptual framework for guiding model construction and comparison, organised according to key aspects of epidemiological systems. Specifically, we discuss the number and type of disease states, whether to focus on individual hosts (e.g. cows) or groups of hosts (e.g. herds or farms), how space or host connectivity affect disease transmission, whether demographic and epidemiological processes are periodic or can occur at any time, and the extent to which stochasticity is important. We use foot-and-mouth disease and bovine Tuberculosis in cattle to illustrate our discussion and support explanations of cases in which different models are used to address similar problems. The framework should help those constructing models to structure their approach to modelling decisions and facilitate comparisons between models in the literature.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Mancy, Dr Rebecca and Kao, Professor Rowland and Brock, Dr Patrick
Authors: Mancy, R., Brock, P. M., and Kao, R. R.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:Frontiers in Veterinary Science
Publisher:Frontiers Media
ISSN (Online):2297-1769
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 2017 Mancy, Brock and Kao
First Published:First published in Frontiers in Veterinary Science 4:155
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
538424Defining the biomedical, environmental and social risk factors for human infection with Plasmodium knowlesi (a.k.a. 'Monkeybar')Heather FergusonMedical Research Council (MRC)G1100796/1RI BIODIVERSITY ANIMAL HEALTH & COMPMED
569043Hierarchical epidemiology: the spread and persistence of infectious diseases in complex landscapesKatie HampsonWellcome Trust (WELLCOTR)095787/Z/11/ZRI BIODIVERSITY ANIMAL HEALTH & COMPMED
554794EPSRC Doctoral Training Grant 2010-14Mary Beth KneafseyEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/P505534/1VPO VICE PRINCIPAL RESEARCH & ENTERPRISE