E Valdano et al. Predicting epidemic risk from past temporal contact data, PLoS Computational Biology 11(3): e1004152 (2015)
Our article published this week in PLOS Computational Biology analyses the livestock trade in Italy and sexual encounters in a Brazilian prostitution service to find a correlation between loyalty and infection risk.
We show that it is possible to use past contact data to predict the risk of infection in emerging outbreaks.
Our study analyzes contact data between animal premises in Italy following livestock trade movements, and time-stamped sexual encounters in a high-end prostitution service in Brazil. The first is relevant for the spread of livestock diseases, and the second underlies the potential spread of sexually transmitted diseases.
In a transmissible disease epidemic, our findings can be used to guide the prioritization of available interventional resources to efficiently control the disease spread. The general nature of the study makes its results applicable to a wide spectrum of possible epidemic scenarios