NSF-NRT Extended Colloquium Series
Zoom link: https://iu.zoom.us/j/571267563
Abstract: Childhood vaccine preventable diseases, once believed candidates for eradication, are now re-emerging. Whooping cough (pertussis) is one such disease. Recent years have seen widespread resurgence of pertussis and the highest incidence since the 1950s, even in countries that boast high vaccine coverage. Pertussis ecology remains poorly understood, and while case-based and sero-epidemiological studies have been employed extensively, bacterial sequence data have not been utilized to their full potential. Integrating parallel data streams plays an essential role in helping to interpret disease patterns and in closing knowledge gaps in pertussis eco-epidemiology. In this seminar, I will discuss employing generalized linear models within a Bayesian coalescent framework to formally test drivers of evolution in Bordetella pertussis populations, and the role of allele shifts in the resurgence of pertussis. To illustrate this, I will use long-term clinical isolates, incidence and demographic data for the Netherlands, between 1949 and 2018. This framework provides insight into ways in which pathogens may adapt under several driving forces of selection and suggests ways to holistically understand pertussis dynamics and contribute to a global strategy to elimination.
Speaker Biography: Ana Bento is an Assistant Professor at Indiana University in Epidemiology & Biostatistics. She is an eco-epidemiologist with a focus on ecology and evolution of infectious diseases. She earned her Ph.D. in Ecology & Evolution at Imperial College London, followed by postdoctoral fellowships in infectious disease modeling with Prof. Christl Donnelly at Imperial College, and the Odum School of Ecology, UGA, with Prof. Pejman Rohani. Her research agenda seeks to understand the dynamics of biological populations and epidemics in humans and other animals, focusing on how to bring experimental and observational data together with mathematical theory with a focus on (re)-emerging diseases dynamics, with a view to understanding fundamental processes in ecology and evolution.