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Epidemics ; 41: 100648, 2022 Nov 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2095324


OBJECTIVES: Disease transmission models are used in impact assessment and economic evaluations of infectious disease prevention and treatment strategies, prominently so in the COVID-19 response. These models rarely consider dimensions of equity relating to the differential health burden between individuals and groups. We describe concepts and approaches which are useful when considering equity in the priority setting process, and outline the technical choices concerning model structure, outputs, and data requirements needed to use transmission models in analyses of health equity. METHODS: We reviewed the literature on equity concepts and approaches to their application in economic evaluation and undertook a technical consultation on how equity can be incorporated in priority setting for infectious disease control. The technical consultation brought together health economists with an interest in equity-informative economic evaluation, ethicists specialising in public health, mathematical modellers from various disease backgrounds, and representatives of global health funding and technical assistance organisations, to formulate key areas of consensus and recommendations. RESULTS: We provide a series of recommendations for applying the Reference Case for Economic Evaluation in Global Health to infectious disease interventions, comprising guidance on 1) the specification of equity concepts; 2) choice of evaluation framework; 3) model structure; and 4) data needs. We present available conceptual and analytical choices, for example how correlation between different equity- and disease-relevant strata should be considered dependent on available data, and outline how assumptions and data limitations can be reported transparently by noting key factors for consideration. CONCLUSIONS: Current developments in economic evaluations in global health provide a wide range of methodologies to incorporate equity into economic evaluations. Those employing infectious disease models need to use these frameworks more in priority setting to accurately represent health inequities. We provide guidance on the technical approaches to support this goal and ultimately, to achieve more equitable health policies.

Philos Trans A Math Phys Eng Sci ; 380(2233): 20210307, 2022 Oct 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1992464


Transmission models for infectious diseases are typically formulated in terms of dynamics between individuals or groups with processes such as disease progression or recovery for each individual captured phenomenologically, without reference to underlying biological processes. Furthermore, the construction of these models is often monolithic: they do not allow one to readily modify the processes involved or include the new ones, or to combine models at different scales. We show how to construct a simple model of immune response to a respiratory virus and a model of transmission using an easily modifiable set of rules allowing further refining and merging the two models together. The immune response model reproduces the expected response curve of PCR testing for COVID-19 and implies a long-tailed distribution of infectiousness reflective of individual heterogeneity. This immune response model, when combined with a transmission model, reproduces the previously reported shift in the population distribution of viral loads along an epidemic trajectory. This article is part of the theme issue 'Technical challenges of modelling real-life epidemics and examples of overcoming these'.

COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19 , Humans , Immunity
Public Health ; 186: 283-285, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1065543