Articles related to Biostatistics in epidemiological studies

Various factors that impact EID (Emerging infectious diseases)

Emerging infectious diseases (EID) is a type of disease occurring from infections of unknown strains of microorganism. They may also reoccur from infectious diseases that may have occurred many years back. These infectious diseases are either new or have a potential to become epidemic in the near future. Some common examples of the EID include; HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, Influenza, malaria, dengue, cholera, Ebola, and many others to name (Drotman et al., 2018). However, the emergence of these diseases is caused by certain factors that have been focused on this article. Read more »

Novel drug development to curb malaria

Malaria is a mosquito borne blood disease, which remains a devastating global health problem. It is caused by the obligate intraerythrocytic protozoa belonging to genus Plasmodium. Due to the increased preventive measures including insecticide-treated bed nets and safety measures such as artemisinin based combination treatments (ACTs) the global malaria mortality rate has reduced by 30% (Bhattarai et al., 2007). Nevertheless, according to World Health Organization (WHO), it is estimated that approximately 200 million people around the world contract malaria resulting in 20% of deaths (WHO, 2016). Read more »

Importance of statistics in randomised controlled trials (RCT)

Quantitative studies are those that rely on measures that can be represented by discrete numbers, such as age, weight or body temperature. Epidemiological studies too can be quantitative in nature. A quantitative epidemiological study can be broadly classified as ‘observational’ or ‘experimental’. It depends upon the extent of intervention by the researcher in the subject’s exposure or actions. Observational studies are further classified as ‘descriptive’ and ‘analytical’. The flow chart below gives a brief idea of the classification of epidemiological studies. In this article, common statistical tools and techniques used to study the data gained from randomised controlled trials (RCT) or clinical trials is studied. Read more »

Epidemiology and public health challenge from emerging infectious diseases

Infectious diseases have plagued humans before the dawn of civilisation. In the last few decades, after the discovery of penicillin, a large number of these diseases have been controlled or eliminated. However, infectious diseases have a tendency to recur in a different population or region than before. This phenomenon is termed emerging infectious diseases (EID). Old infectious diseases re-emerge due to developed attributes like resistance or increased virulence (The Henry J Kaiser Family Foundation, 2014). One of the reasons is increased globalisation and environmental changes. This leads microbes to spread in new regions. Another reason is increasing drug resistance, making EIDs’ a grave concern (WHO Community, 2014). Read more »

Role of serological and molecular marker analysis in emerging infectious diseases

Traditional methods of infectious disease diagnosis are Gram- staining, pathogen culturing, and study of virus morphology by inoculating culture. Conventional techniques are time-consuming and lack sensitivity. Serological and molecular markers are new diagnostic approaches that offer rapid, sensitive and more accurate diagnostic results. Molecular markers are a specific short sequence of DNA or RNA. Molecular markers are capable of detecting polymorphism in the specific chromosomal region associated with unique chromosomal locations, that can be random. On the other hand, serological markers are used to measure the concentrations of an antibody. These are potentially the most direct way to decipher the dynamics of a population’s responsiveness and diagnosis of a disease (Metcalf et al., 2016). Read more »

Systematic review of forecasting models in disease epidemiology

In the previous article, the role and advantages of using forecasting models in disease epidemiology were discussed. Forecasting models are important tools assisting public health decision making. They help predict future disease trends, incidents and possible risks in a population or community. Read more »

Factors affecting spatial and temporal trends of an infectious disease epidemics

Epidemics of infectious diseases arise due to spread of the disease across individuals. It spreads within a geographical region over a period of time. When they spread at the global level, it is referred to as a pandemic. An infectious disease originates at a particular point. However, it spreads across communities and geographical regions. The temporal and spatial patterns of spread of different infectious disease are unique. Read more »

Spatial modeling in disease epidemic studies

Epidemiology of infectious diseases often requires geographical information. Both spatial and temporal factors of a population can affect disease spread. Spatial factors refer to the geographical or topological factors associated with a disease. Temporal factors mean time-bound progress of a disease in a population. These factors influence the virulence of the disease, patterns of prevalence and also future incidents. Read more »

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