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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/8271

Title: Social contacts and mixing patterns relevant to the spread of infectious diseases
Authors: Mossong, J.
HENS, Niel
Jit, M.
Beutels, P.
Auranen, K.
Mikolajczyk, R
Massari, M.
Salmaso, S
Tomba, GS
Wallinga, J
Heijne, J
Sadkowska-Todys, M.
Rosinska, M.
Edmunds, WJ
Issue Date: 2008
Citation: PLOS MEDICINE, 5(3). p. 381-391
Abstract: Background Mathematical modelling of infectious diseases transmitted by the respiratory or close-contact route ( e. g., pandemic influenza) is increasingly being used to determine the impact of possible interventions. Although mixing patterns are known to be crucial determinants for model outcome, researchers often rely on a priori contact assumptions with little or no empirical basis. We conducted a population- based prospective survey of mixing patterns in eight European countries using a common paper- diary methodology. Methods and Findings 7,290 participants recorded characteristics of 97,904 contacts with different individuals during one day, including age, sex, location, duration, frequency, and occurrence of physical contact. We found that mixing patterns and contact characteristics were remarkably similar across different European countries. Contact patterns were highly assortative with age: schoolchildren and young adults in particular tended to mix with people of the same age. Contacts lasting at least one hour or occurring on a daily basis mostly involved physical contact, while short duration and infrequent contacts tended to be nonphysical. Contacts at home, school, or leisure were more likely to be physical than contacts at the workplace or while travelling. Preliminary modelling indicates that 5- to 19-year-olds are expected to suffer the highest incidence during the initial epidemic phase of an emerging infection transmitted through social contacts measured here when the population is completely susceptible. Conclusions To our knowledge, our study provides the first large-scale quantitative approach to contact patterns relevant for infections transmitted by the respiratory or close-contact route, and the results should lead to improved parameterisation of mathematical models used to design control strategies.
Notes: Lab Natl Sante, Microbiol Unit, Luxembourg, Luxembourg. Ctr Rech Publ Sante, Luxembourg, Luxembourg. Hasselt Univ, Ctr Stat, Diepenbeek, Belgium. Hlth Protect agcy, Ctr Infect, Modelling & Econ Unit, London, England. Univ Antwerp, Vaccine & Infect Dis Inst, Ctr Evaluat Vaccinat, Unit Hlth Econ & Modelling Infect Dis, B-2020 Antwerp, Belgium. Natl Publ Hlth Inst KTL, Dept Vaccines, Helsinki, Finland. Univ Bielefeld, Sch Publ Hlth, Bielefeld, Germany. Ist Super Sanita, I-00161 Rome, Italy. Univ Roma Tor Vergata, Dept Math, Rome, Italy. Natl Inst Publ Hlth & Environm, Ctr Infect Dis Control Netherlands, NL-3720 BA Bilthoven, Netherlands. Natl Inst Hyg, PL-00791 Warsaw, Poland.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/8271
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.0050074
ISI #: 000254928900013
ISSN: 1549-1277
Category: A1
Type: Journal Contribution
Validation: ecoom, 2009
Appears in Collections: Research publications

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