eLife selects outstanding papers for 2013

Maciek Boni Drug Resistance

In a bid to shake up the luxury journal cabal, the journal eLife was launched in late 2012 to give researchers a high-quality open-access publishing option that, in addition to having a world-class editorial board, also supports early career scientists and provides open and rigorous peer review. For the second half of 2013, the academic editors of eLife chose five …

The battle against drug resistance just got tougher

Maciek Boni Drug Resistance

Do we have any leverage against drug-resistant organisms?   Our post on the Wellcome Trust blog explores the importance of the “fitness cost of drug resistance”. Two studies in 2013 gave notice that our normal expectation — that drug-resistant populations will revert to sensitivity when the selective environment is removed — doesn’t hold true for all pathogens. In mouse and …

Phylogeography: does subsampling solve sampling bias?

Maciek Boni Influenza

A few years ago, we were asked by Vietnam’s National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology to help analyze their influenza sequence data. The initial question on everyone’s mind was “where does Vietnam’s influenza come from?”, but it became clear pretty quickly that flu viruses can come from anywhere. The global phylogeography of influenza had already been described by a few …

Population antibody measurements to H7N9 influenza

Maciek Boni Influenza

In February 2013, the first human infections with influenza subtype H7N9 were observed in coastal China.   As our group is currently in the process of processing samples from a large serosurvey in southern Vietnam, we analyzed our data to determine if antibody levels in the Vietnamese population to H7 influenza subtypes were higher or lower than expected.   One …

Too lethal for a pandemic?

Maciek Boni Influenza

Our Philosophical Transactions article on potential virulence evolution in H5N1 influenza was featured again, this time by Matt Ridley in the Wall Street Journal. The editorial piece was written in the context of the recent influenza H7N9 outbreaks in China and concerns that this newly emerging influenza subtype may have the right characteristics to cause a human influenza pandemic. Matt …

OUCRU workshop on economic epidemiology

Maciek Boni Economic Epidemiology

On March 25-26, the OUCRU Mathematical Modeling Team hosted the TDModNet Workshop on Economic Epidemiology. The workshop brought together principal investigators, postdocs, and students from various Oxford overseas units who share interests in health economics, the integration of economic and epidemiological dynamics in disease systems, and how human behavior affects the dynamics of epidemics. The workshop was structured into four …

The future evolution of bird flu

Maciek Boni Influenza

A recent publication of ours in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society was featured by Carl Zimmer on National Geographic’s blog site Phenomena. The article discusses the potential paths of virulence evolution for subtype H5N1 avian influenza viruses should they ever cause a pandemic in humans. Carl Zimmer’s blog piece can be found here: The Future Evolution of Bird Flu

WHO and Vaccine Modeling Initiative publish urgent questions for dengue vaccine rollout

Maciek Boni Dengue

On August 25-26, 2010, the World Health Organization held a meeting on the potential uses of mathematical modeling in dengue vaccination planning. The meeting was organized by OUCRU (Maciej Boni, Jeremy Farrar) in order to give a middle-income country perspective on how dengue vaccine might be adopted and what type of evidence would be needed to roll it out, and …

Early weeks of 2009 influenza pandemic in Ho Chi Minh City

Maciek Boni Influenza

In Vietnam, the first patient infected with the 2009 H1N1 pandemic influenza virus landed in Ho Chi Minh City airport on May 26, 2009. One month before this introduction, the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit and the Hospital for Tropical Diseases had begun testing patients with fever arriving at Ho Chi Minh City’s international airport, and tracking passenger numbers and …