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FRIPRO-Fri prosjektstøtte

Modelling the epidemiological dynamics of past and current zoonotic diseases in humans

Alternative title: Modellering av den epidemiologiske dynamikken til tidligere og nåværende zoonotiske sykdommer hos mennesker

Awarded: NOK 2.7 mill.

Zoonoses-Epidemiology projects historical and future epidemiological dynamics of zoonotic diseases such as plague, dengue fever and coronavirus. The objective of the project is to infer how epidemiological dynamics of zoonotic diseases change across ecological contexts and thus better prepare the world for future pandemics. The project will be carried out alongside two mainlines: (I) Reveal long-term zoonotic disease dynamics to infer public health burden; (II) Evaluate intervention strategies to improve public health and societal effect. Align with the mainlines, the project has so far contributed two scientific tools to tackle pandemics: (i) an open-source fundamental framework with flexible demographics and mixing patterns; (ii) an evaluation framework for tailoring vaccine rollout strategies. With these frameworks, the findings point that the young may be at the highest rates of infection in the endemic phase of disease dynamics. Additionally, prioritizing vaccination to the high-risk and core-sociable groups may maximize the benefit from both direct and indirect protections, and thus achieving the larger societal health benefits.

Zoonoses-Epidemiology have generated and shared to the scientific community innovative modelling and evaluating framework. These include (1) a general age model integrating realistic demography and social mixing patterns, (2) a disease model incorporating vaccination. These models are not only of great importance for conceptual analysis but also applications in diverse settings. In particular, we applied these model framework to Norwegian settings to evaluate different allocation strategies of vaccines. These achievements have (1) improved our knowledge of epidemiological dynamics and disease burden, (2) improved the advice to health authorities on strategic intervention decisions. By doing so, we have a cohesive understanding of the true disease threat and thus better prepare against future pandemics.

Zoonotic diseases such as plague, dengue fever and coronavirus, continue to exact a heavy toll in many parts of the word. Zoonoses-Epidemiology is a Norwegian based project with ambitions to synthesise epidemiological landscape of multiple zoonotic diseases and perspectives from ecology and epidemiology. The primary objective of the project is to build a timely, multi-faceted, and interdisciplinary understanding of how epidemiological dynamics of zoonotic diseases change across ecological contexts so as to be better prepared for future pandemics. The objectives are organised into two Work Packages and five Tasks to (I) Reveal the historical and future disease dynamics and public health burden across ecological contexts; to (II) Evaluate effectiveness and uncertainties of interventions to maximise public health and societal effect. We will contribute two cutting-edge methodologies: (i) The innovative modelling framework, and (ii) The systematic intervention-evaluation framework. We will through Zoonoses-Epidemiology take full advantage of our extensive data sources and analytical approaches to ensure the robustness and scientific rigour of the frameworks, while iteratively updated our assessments and insights of disease dynamics and intervention strategies. By the end of the project period, we will offer far-reaching implications beyond public health science, opening a whole new field of well-structured, multidisciplinary scientific research that bridges endeavours and competence from multiple fields. All our contributions will provide a portfolio that could be extensively leveraged to confront threats for not the least zoonotic diseases but other epidemics.

Funding scheme:

FRIPRO-Fri prosjektstøtte

Funding Sources