The project group Ecological Epidemiology (EcoEpi) assembles ecological models that support decision making for public health and food safety concerns. Their special approach is to consider simultaneously the feasibility in the field, the economic consequences and the public health aspect (management-oriented disease modelling – MoDiM). Hence practically and politically compatible solutions are in the focus.
The simulation models provide test-beds for contingency planning and control optimisation. This is possible via the linkage of detailed expert knowledge to the host population or landscape level whereat disease management and control policies are targeted.
EcoEpi modelling studies investigate large-scale epidemic spread based on the ecological fate of individual organism. The scenario-based evaluation of computer simulations provides mechanistic understanding of how host ecology (habitat use, dispersal behaviour, contact structure, reproduction) interacts with the disease transmission (infectivity, time scale) and human intervention effort (scheduling, intensity, approach).
The projects result in risk assessments, improved decision making, evaluation of management options and policy support. National, EU and WHO guidelines of health management programs are already reflecting the gained insights. The variety of projects paves the way to substantial contributions to the basic ecology of infectious diseases and their control as well as the development of adapted modelling techniques. Particular initiatives address the real-time application of computer simulations in the case of epidemic emergency situation.
Thulke, H.-H., Eisinger, D., Freuling, C., Fröhlich, A., Globig, A., Grimm, V., Müller, T., Selhorst, T., Staubach, C., Zips, S. (2009):
Situation-based surveillance: adapting investigations to actual epidemic situations.
Journal of Wildlife Diseases 45, 1089-1103
Kramer-Schadt, S., Fernandez, N., Eisinger, D., Grimm, V., Thulke, H.-H. (2009):
Individual variations in infectiousness explain long-term disease persistence in wildlife populations.
Oikos 118, 199-208
Eisinger, D., Thulke, H.-H. (2008):
Spatial pattern formation facilitates eradication of infectious diseases.
J.Appl.Ecol. 45 (2), 415-423
- More EcoEpi publications