Application of an Individual-Based Transmission Hazard Model for Estimation of Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness in a Household Cohort.


Household cohort studies are an important design for the study of respiratory virus transmission. Inferences from these studies can be improved through the use of mechanistic models to account for household structure and risk as an alternative to traditional regression models. We adapted a previously described individual-based transmission hazard (TH) model and assessed its utility for analyzing data from a household cohort maintained in part for study of influenza vaccine effectiveness (VE). Households with ≥4 individuals, including ≥2 children <18 years of age, were enrolled and followed during the 2010-2011 influenza season. VE was estimated in both TH and Cox proportional hazards (PH) models. For each individual, TH models estimated hazards of infection from the community and each infected household contact. Influenza A(H3N2) infection was laboratory-confirmed in 58 (4%) subjects. VE estimates from both models were similarly low overall (Cox PH: 20%, 95% confidence interval: -57, 59; TH: 27%, 95% credible interval: -23, 58) and highest for children <9 years of age (Cox PH: 40%, 95% confidence interval: -49, 76; TH: 52%, 95% credible interval: 7, 75). VE estimates were robust to model choice, although the ability of the TH model to accurately describe transmission of influenza presents continued opportunity for analyses.

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