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We focus on investigating infectious disease transmission dynamics and the impact of vaccines by conducting epidemiological studies to collect key empirical evidence about socio-demographic, biological, and immunological factors. By combining statistical analyses of these data with theoretical approaches to address broader questions of public health importance, we aim to provide a strong evidence base for understanding the impact of vaccines and the changing epidemiology of vaccine-preventable diseases.

  1. 1)Investigating the epidemiology of and risk factors for asymptomatic meningococcal meningitis carriage in Africa

    We are investigating the prevalence and risk factors for asymptomatic

    meningococcal carriage among school children and within families in Bamako, Mali

    using both cross-sectional and longitudinal study designs. We are also evaluating

    methods for identifying asymptomatic carriers based on paired samples of

    participants drawn from four countries of the meningitis belt.

    Collaborators: The African Meningococcal Carriage Consortium (PI: Brian Greenwood) and the Centre  

    pour le Développement des Vaccins-Mali (Director: Samba Sow)

  1. 2)Evaluating changes in population-level immunity following mass-vaccination with a new meningococcal vaccine

    We have designed and implemented the first stage of a population-based                    

    longitudinal cohort study to evaluate changes in population-level immunity,

    heterogeneity in immune response, and the relationship between vaccination status    

    and asymptomatic carriage up to 7 years after the implementation of the new

    MenAfriVac vaccine among residents of Bamako, Mali.

    Collaborators: Samba Sow (Centre pour le Développement des Vaccins-Mali), Ray Borrow (Health   

    Protection Agency Vaccine Evaluation Unit, UK), and Sophia Ng

  1. 3)Exploring seasonal drivers of meningococcal disease in the African meningitis belt

    We are investigating the role of dust and other climatic factors in predicting

    outbreaks of meningococcal disease in the African meningitis belt.

    Collaborators: Elena Shevliakova, Paul Ginoux, Steve Pacala, V. "Ram" Ramaswamy, and Priscella Chan

  1. 4)Assessing vaccination strategies to address the global threat of influenza

    We have conducted statistical analyses of human influenza challenges studies to

    estimate influenza vaccine efficacy for outcomes such as infection, progression to

    symptomatic disease, and infectiousness. We use these estimates to better

    understand mechanisms of vaccine-induced protection and to inform mathematical

    models of flu transmission to assess vaccination strategies.

    Collaborators: Betz Halloran, Ira Longini, Dennis Chao, and Laura Matrajt