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Viruses and at-risk populations – the epidemiology and dynamics of respiratory viruses in groups with COPD and asthma

Respiratory viruses can be very dangerous for people who have
pre-existing conditions, especially chronic respiratory conditions.
Understanding how the changing circulation of viruses in the
general population impacts the timing of risk of disease in these
groups is needed, so that we can design interventions to prevent
their spread.

This PhD project will use hospital records from Nha Trang, Viet
Nam, together with respiratory virus surveillance data from the
same area (Yoshida et al. 2014), to understand the links between
the timing of hospitalizations, the circulation of viruses, and other
factors (such as climate) on populations with COPD and asthma.
We will use paediatric respiratory clinical-epidemiological and virus
surveillance data available from 2007 to 2018, and healthcare
records available for the last 5 years. The surveillance data have
age, date, and PCR test for pathogens. The healthcare records have
principal reason for admission/attendance, age, date, and in some
cases comorbidity information. It may be possible to use chart
review to determine other factors.

The project will involve epidemiological analysis of COPD and
asthma hospitalisations in the study population. Then we will build
mathematical models of respiratory virus transmission, and fit
those models to available data using Bayesian methods (Eggo et al.
2016). The project also aims to run a prospective study to detect
viruses in COPD and asthma patients admitted to hospital in Nha
Trang. Prof Yoshida currently runs a viral surveillance programme
in children in Nha Trang, which will support the further study in the
COPD/asthma population.

This project will contribute to understanding the transmission
dynamics of common respiratory viruses and how those affect subpopulations who are more at risk of severe outcomes, due to preexisting conditions like COPD and asthma.

For information on how to apply, please see
And contact Rosalind Eggo for more information.

PhD position
Closing date
January 17th, 2020
Posted on
November 21st, 2019 16:41
Last updated
December 14th, 2019 12:50