Infectious diseases exert a large and in many contexts growing burden on human health, but violate most of the assumptions of classical epidemiological statistics and hence require a mathematically sophisticated approach. Viral shedding data are collected during human studies - either where volunteers are infected with a disease or where existing cases are recruited - in which the levels of live virus produced over time are measured. These have traditionally been difficult to analyse due to strong, complex correlations between parameters. Here, we show how a Bayesian approach to the inverse problem together with modern Markov chain Monte Carlo algorithms based on information geometry can overcome these difficulties and yield insights into the disease dynamics of two of the most prevalent human pathogens - influenza and norovirus - as well as Ebola virus disease.
- Markov chain Monte Carlo
- compartmental mode