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1.  Model structure analysis to estimate basic immunological processes and maternal risk for parvovirus B19 
Biostatistics (Oxford, England)  2010;12(2):283-302.
After a steep monotone rise with age, the seroprevalence profiles for human parvovirus B19 (PVB19) display a decrease or plateau between the ages of 20 and 40, in each of 5 European countries. We investigate whether this phenomenon is induced by waning antibodies for PVB19 and, if this is the case, whether secondary infections are plausible, or whether boosting may occur. Several immunological scenarios are tested for PVB19 by fitting different compartmental dynamic transmission models to serological data using data on social contact patterns. The social contact approach has already been shown informative to estimate transmission rates and the basic reproduction number for infections transmitted predominantly through nonsexual social contacts. Our results show that for 4 countries, model selection criteria favor the scenarios allowing for waning immunity at an age-specific rate over the assumption of lifelong immunity, assuming that the transmission rates are directly proportional to the contact rates. Different views on the evolution of the immune response to PVB19 infection lead to altered estimates of the age-specific force of infection and the basic reproduction number. The scenarios which allow for multiple infections during one lifetime predict a higher frequency of PVB19 infection in pregnant women and of associated fetal deaths. When prevaccination serological data are available, the framework developed in this paper could prove worthwhile to investigate these different scenarios for other infections as well, such as cytomegalovirus.
PMCID: PMC3062149  PMID: 20841333
Age heterogeneity; Boosting; Bootstrap; Dynamic transmission model; Parvovirus B19; Risk in pregnancy; Seroepidemiology; Social contact pattern; Waning immunity

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