What tools are useful for monitoring endemic diseases? A simulation study based on different time-series components

What tools are useful for monitoring endemic diseases? A simulation study based on different time-series components
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Abstract

Control and eradication programs play an important role in disease monitoring and surveillance. It is important to follow up on implemented strategies to reduce and/or eliminate a specific disease. The objectives of this study were to investigate the performance of different detection methods, including methods commonly used in biosurveillance as well as state space models, for monitoring the effect of endemic disease control and eradication programs. We simulated 16 different scenarios of changes in disease sero-prevalence, inspired by real-world data from the Danish PRRS (Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome) monitoring program. The changes included increases, decreases and/or constant sero-prevalence levels in different combinations. Two state space models were used to model the simulated data and different monitoring methods, such as univariate process control algorithms (UPCA) and monitoring of the trend component were tested. The performance was evaluated as the proportion of iterations with an alarm for a given week. Results revealed that the different UPCA performed differently with respect to detecting increasing and decreasing changes in sero-prevalence. The trend-based methods performed well for detecting the first event but its performance was poorer in adapting to several consecutive events. The different monitoring methods had different performances in monitoring increasing and decreasing changes in disease sero-prevalence, showing that the objectives of the monitoring program should be taken into account when choosing which methods to use. The principles used in this study can also be applied in disease surveillance of (re-)emerging diseases.

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