AGENT BASED MODELING: FINE-SCALE SPATIO-TEMPORAL ANALYSIS OF PERTUSSIS
Keywords: Agent Based Modeling, Spatio-Temporal Analysis, open-source, Pertussis, infectious diseases, vaccination effectiveness
Abstract. In epidemiology, spatial and temporal variables are used to compute vaccination efficacy and effectiveness. The chosen resolution and scale of a spatial or spatio-temporal analysis will affect the results. When calculating vaccination efficacy, for example, a simple environment that offers various ideal outcomes is often modeled using coarse scale data aggregated on an annual basis. In contrast to the inadequacy of this aggregated method, this research uses agent based modeling of fine-scale neighborhood data centered around the interactions of infants in daycare and their families to demonstrate an accurate reflection of vaccination capabilities. Despite being able to prevent major symptoms, recent studies suggest that acellular Pertussis does not prevent the colonization and transmission of Bordetella Pertussis bacteria. After vaccination, a treated individual becomes a potential asymptomatic carrier of the Pertussis bacteria, rather than an immune individual. Agent based modeling enables the measurable depiction of asymptomatic carriers that are otherwise unaccounted for when calculating vaccination efficacy and effectiveness. Using empirical data from a Florida Pertussis outbreak case study, the results of this model demonstrate that asymptomatic carriers bias the calculated vaccination efficacy and reveal a need for reconsidering current methods that are widely used for calculating vaccination efficacy and effectiveness.