Light PhD Seminar: Dynamic modelling of hepatitis C transmission among injecting drug users: Revealing the undiagnosed and impact of interventions

Date: Thu, Jul 19 2018

Hour: 17:30

Speakers: Theresa Stocks

To reach the WHO goal of hepatitis C elimination by 2030, it is essential to identify the number of undiagnosed cases and true incidence and to investigate the effect of interventions such as drug treatment and needle exchange programs on the disease transmission dynamics. One of the primary route of hepatitis C virus transmission is via contaminated needles shared by injecting drug users (IDUs). However, high uncertainty regarding the size of the IDU population (and their diffi- cult reachability by public health care) make it challenging to estimate the number of undiagnosed cases.

We present a novel, multi-layered dynamic transmission model for hepatitis C transmission within an IDU community that accounts for stage of infection (acute and chronic), IDU status (current and former IDU), status of diagnosis (diagnosed and undiagnosed) and country of disease acquisition (within or outside the country under consideration). First, based on this model and using routine surveillance data, we estimate the number of undiagnosed IDUs, the true incidence, the reproduction numbers, the average time until diagnosis and associated uncertainties. Second, we examine the impact of two interventions on disease dynamics: 1) direct-acting antiviral drug treatment, which is characterized by high success rates but at sub- stantial costs, and 2) needle exchange programs.

We illustrate our approach for Swedish data, however, our modelling approach can also be applied to other countries with a similar disease burden and risk groups. To support communication of our results with public health decision makers, the model and its output are made accessible through a shiny app.



Stockholm University

Confirmed speakers:

Theresa Stocks