University of Cambridge > > MRC Biostatistics Unit Seminars > Modelling the transmission of Clostridium difficile in hospitals

Modelling the transmission of Clostridium difficile in hospitals

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Clostridium difficile is a major cause of healthcare-associated diarrhoea, and controlling its spread within a healthcare setting is an ongoing focus of significant public health effort. However, the dynamics of the disease are still relatively poorly understood, and the complex, dynamic contact network of a large hospital system makes it difficult to apply standard techniques for analysing disease outbreaks. Focussing on data collected within the Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust between 2007 and 2009 (containing a total of 250,000 hospital admissions and 1,000 confirmed cases of Clostridium difficile), we describe a compartmental model for the transmission of Clostridium difficile within the hospital system. A Bayesian approach allows us to estimate key epidemiological parameters, as well as to assess the impact of assumptions made about the dynamics of disease. An advantage of this framework is that it enables us to introduce additional genetic typing information about the bacteria as it becomes available, allowing us to refine our parameter estimates.

This talk is part of the MRC Biostatistics Unit Seminars series.

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