Mathematical Modelling and Health Economics

OUCRU has a research programme dedicated to developing and applying quantitative methods to questions about infectious disease dynamics. The research programme is headed by Dr Hannah Clapham and includes projects and foci in epidemiology, mathematical modelling, sero-epidemiology and predictive modelling. The team includes post-docs, PhD students, and research assistants. Some examples of the type of work we do are below:

Understanding Transmission Dynamics of Infectious Diseases in Vietnam

Using mathematical models fit to case data we assess the spatial and temporal patterns of infectious diseases in Vietnam. This work spans infections from hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) to dengue. This work helps understand the determinants of infectious diseases and therefore how best to control them and can help us best forecast infectious diseases into the future.


Sero-surveillance is the study of antibody responses in the population to understand the past transmission and population susceptibility to pathogens. This work can be informative for pathogens about which there are unknowns about circulation, or to assess gaps in vaccination. Through testing routinely collected serum samples, the modelling group and collaborators have undertaken testing for vaccine preventable diseases like tetanus and for pathogens that we understand little about like chikungunya. By fitting models to the serological data we are able to estimate This work is ongoing for flaviviruses and rickettsial diseases.

Vaccine Impact Modelling

We use modelling techniques to estimate the burden and transmission dynamics of infectious diseases and to estimate the impact of present and future vaccination campaigns. For Japanese Encephalitis this work is as part of the Vaccine Impact Modelling Consortium . For dengue we assessing how to assess where vaccination could be of use in Vietnam and how it could best be used.

Health economics

The health economics team is run by Hugo C Turner. Its role is to build in-house capacity to design and perform health economic analyses within OUCRU. The team is conducting a broad range of studies, including intervention costings, cost of illness analysis, and cost-effectiveness analysis. Several of the teams key research areas are outlined below:

  1. Cost data collection questionnaires: We are developing standardised questionnaires to collect the costs incurred by patients. These are specifically designed for low and middle-income countries and include the costs incurred by informal caregivers. The questionnaires are also designed to collect indirect/productivity costs.
  2. Dengue: We are conducting several health economic projects on dengue. These include conducting a review of the health and economic burden of dengue in Vietnam, and a systematic review of the estimates of the indirect costs associated with dengue in Asia. We are also investigating the costs of performing dengue serosurveys and individual screening.
  3. Hepatitis C (HCV): We are conducting several health economic studies within the clinical trials on HCV being conducted within the unit. These include estimating the treatment costs of the new generic direct-acting antivirals, performing cost-effectiveness analysis, and investigating the economic burden of the HCV.