On 18 April 2018, Venetia Karamitsou, PhD student in the Disease Dynamics group at the University of Cambridge, held a talk at SACEMA on modelling the evolution of influence. Given that vaccination is the main control strategy against influenza outbreaks, it is worrisome that influenza mutates often, making reinfection possible even for vaccinated individuals. Existing models regarding the evolution of influenza focus on either changes within hosts or between hosts. The main motivation behind the current research is to find out how both types of models can be combined. The results from the study can be useful in reassessing vaccination policies.
Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer among women worldwide, with an annual incidence of approximately half a million cases. Over 80% of these occur in developing countries. It is firmly established that persistent infection with one of the so-called high-risk human papillomavirus (hrHPV) types is a prerequisite for the development of cervical cancer. Estimating the impact of HPV vaccination on the reduction in the rate of cervical cancer requires an understanding of the determinants that govern the prevalence of the various hrHPV types prior to vaccination. The fact that hrHPV is sexually transmitted partly explains the age-specific patterns in hrHPV prevalence data and the geographic variation in hrHPV infection risk. However, it is unclear why some high-risk types are more widespread than others.