1. Epidemiology and Global Health
  2. Medicine
Download icon

Mathematical modeling of the West Africa Ebola epidemic

  1. Jean-Paul Chretien  Is a corresponding author
  2. Steven Riley
  3. Dylan B George
  1. Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center, United States
  2. Imperial College London, United Kingdom
  3. United States Department of Health and Human Services, United States
Research Article
  • Cited 65
  • Views 5,955
  • Annotations
Cite this article as: eLife 2015;4:e09186 doi: 10.7554/eLife.09186

Abstract

As of November 2015, the Ebola virus disease (EVD) epidemic that began in West Africa in late 2013 is waning. The human toll includes more than 28,000 Ebola virus disease (EVD) cases and 11,000 deaths in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, the most heavily-affected countries. We reviewed 66 mathematical modeling studies of the EVD epidemic published in the peer-reviewed literature to assess the key uncertainties models addressed, data used for modeling, public sharing of data and results, and model performance. Based on the review, we suggest steps to improve the use of modeling in future public health emergencies.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Jean-Paul Chretien

    Division of Integrated Biosurveillance, Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center, Silver Spring, United States
    For correspondence
    JPChretien@gmail.com
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  2. Steven Riley

    MRC Centre for Outbreak Analysis and Modelling, Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Dylan B George

    Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, United States Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Mark Jit, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and Public Health England, United Kingdom

Publication history

  1. Received: June 2, 2015
  2. Accepted: November 19, 2015
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: December 8, 2015 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: February 16, 2016 (version 2)

Copyright

© 2015, Chretien et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

Metrics

  • 5,955
    Page views
  • 926
    Downloads
  • 65
    Citations

Article citation count generated by polling the highest count across the following sources: Scopus, Crossref, PubMed Central.

Download links

A two-part list of links to download the article, or parts of the article, in various formats.

Downloads (link to download the article as PDF)

Download citations (links to download the citations from this article in formats compatible with various reference manager tools)

Open citations (links to open the citations from this article in various online reference manager services)

Further reading

    1. Epidemiology and Global Health
    Allison Koenecke et al.
    Short Report

    In severe viral pneumonia, including Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the viral replication phase is often followed by hyperinflammation, which can lead to acute respiratory distress syndrome, multi-organ failure, and death. We previously demonstrated that alpha-1 adrenergic receptor (⍺1-AR) antagonists can prevent hyperinflammation and death in mice. Here, we conducted retrospective analyses in two cohorts of patients with acute respiratory distress (ARD, n = 18,547) and three cohorts with pneumonia (n = 400,907). Federated across two ARD cohorts, we find that patients exposed to ⍺1-AR antagonists, as compared to unexposed patients, had a 34% relative risk reduction for mechanical ventilation and death (OR = 0.70, p = 0.021). We replicated these methods on three pneumonia cohorts, all with similar effects on both outcomes. All results were robust to sensitivity analyses. These results highlight the urgent need for prospective trials testing whether prophylactic use of ⍺1-AR antagonists ameliorates lower respiratory tract infection-associated hyperinflammation and death, as observed in COVID-19.

    1. Epidemiology and Global Health
    Evangelos Evangelou et al.
    Research Article Updated

    Background:

    Excessive alcohol consumption is associated with damage to various organs, but its multi-organ effects have not been characterised across the usual range of alcohol drinking in a large general population sample.

    Methods:

    We assessed global effect sizes of alcohol consumption on quantitative magnetic resonance imaging phenotypic measures of the brain, heart, aorta, and liver of UK Biobank participants who reported drinking alcohol.

    Results:

    We found a monotonic association of higher alcohol consumption with lower normalised brain volume across the range of alcohol intakes (–1.7 × 10−3 ± 0.76 × 10−3 per doubling of alcohol consumption, p=3.0 × 10−14). Alcohol consumption was also associated directly with measures of left ventricular mass index and left ventricular and atrial volume indices. Liver fat increased by a mean of 0.15% per doubling of alcohol consumption.

    Conclusions:

    Our results imply that there is not a ‘safe threshold’ below which there are no toxic effects of alcohol. Current public health guidelines concerning alcohol consumption may need to be revisited.

    Funding:

    See acknowledgements.