Disease contact tracing in random and clustered networks



Kiss IZ, Green D & Kao RR (2005) Disease contact tracing in random and clustered networks. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 272 (1570), pp. 1407-1414.

The efficacy of contact tracing, be it between individuals (e.g. sexually transmitted diseases or severe acute respiratory syndrome) or between groups of individuals (e.g. foot-and-mouth disease; FMD), is difficult to evaluate without precise knowledge of the underlying contact structure; i.e. who is connected to whom? Motivated by the 2001 FMD epidemic in the UK, we determine, using stochastic simulations and deterministic ‘moment closure' models of disease transmission on networks of premises (nodes), network and disease properties that are important for contact tracing efficiency. For random networks with a high average number of connections per node, little clustering of connections and short latency periods, contact tracing is typically ineffective. In this case, isolation of infected nodes is the dominant factor in determining disease epidemic size and duration. If the latency period is longer and the average number of connections per node small, or if the network is spatially clustered, then the contact tracing performs better and an overall reduction in the proportion of nodes that are removed during an epidemic is observed.

disease; contact tracing; contact structure; clustering; stochastic simulation; moment closure

Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences: Volume 272, Issue 1570

Publication date07/07/2005
PublisherThe Royal Society

People (1)


Dr Darren Green

Dr Darren Green

Senior Lecturer, Institute of Aquaculture