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Epidemiol Infect. 2010 Jun;138(6):825-35. doi: 10.1017/S0950268809991178. Epub 2009 Nov 18.

Understanding influenza virus-specific epidemiological properties by analysis of experimental human infections.

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  • 1Department of Bioenvironmental Systems Engineering, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan 10617, ROC.


This study aimed to estimate the natural history and transmission parameters based on experimental viral shedding and symptom dynamics in order to understand the key epidemiological factors that characterize influenza (sub)type epidemics. A simple statistical algorithm was developed by combining a well-defined mathematical scheme of epidemiological determinants and experimental human influenza infection. Here we showed that (i) the observed viral shedding dynamics mapped successfully the estimated time-profile of infectiousness and (ii) the profile of asymptomatic probability was obtained based on observed temporal variation of symptom scores. Our derived estimates permitted evaluation of relationships between various model-derived and data-based estimations, allowing evaluation of trends proposed previously but not tested fully. As well as providing insights into the dynamics of viral shedding and symptom scores, a more profound understanding of influenza epidemiological parameters and determinants could enhance the viral kinetic studies of influenza during infection in the respiratory tracts of experimentally infected individuals.

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