Dose-Response Models for Eastern US, Western US and Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis Viruses in Mice - Part II: Quantification of the Effects of Host Age on the Dose Response.


Many infectious disease hazards demonstrate higher susceptibility with regards to younger host ages. This trend of increased susceptibility with decreasing host age can also lead to an increased likelihood of mortality, and prolonged/chronic health effects. For quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA) modeling, the ability to quantify the effect of host age in the dose response model can allow modelers to account for these effects mechanistically. Additionally, QMRA modelers using age-dependent dose response models can model entire populations within the dose-response itself rather than modeling age ranges using susceptibility factors. This research developed host-age dependent exponential and beta Poisson dose response models for Eastern, Western and Venezuelan encephalitis viruses (EEV, WEV and VEV respectively) for two routes - intracranial and intraperitoneal. Improvement in fit was statistically tested as a means of assessing the benefit of including age dependency into the dose response models. EEV demonstrated improvement in fit using host-age dependency only for the exponential model except for intracranial exposure. EEV demonstrated an improvement in fit when using age dependency in the beta Poisson dose response model for both exposure routes. VEV demonstrated an improvement in fit using age dependency for both exposure routes. WEV demonstrated an improvement in fit for intracranial exposure, but neither of the age dependent dose-response models provided a good fit for WEV intraperitoneal exposure.

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