A Statistical Framework for Microbial Source Attribution [electronic resource].
- Washington, D.C. : United States. Dept. of Energy, 2009. and Oak Ridge, Tenn. : Distributed by the Office of Scientific and Technical Information, U.S. Dept. of Energy.
- Physical Description:
- PDF-file: 60 pages; size: 2.4 Mbytes
- Additional Creators:
- Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, United States. Department of Energy, and United States. Department of Energy. Office of Scientific and Technical Information
- Restrictions on Access:
- Free-to-read Unrestricted online access
- This report presents a general approach to inferring transmission and source relationships among microbial isolates from their genetic sequences. The outbreak transmission graph (also called the transmission tree or transmission network) is the fundamental structure which determines the statistical distributions relevant to source attribution. The nodes of this graph are infected individuals or aggregated sub-populations of individuals in which transmitted bacteria or viruses undergo clonal expansion, leading to a genetically heterogeneous population. Each edge of the graph represents a transmission event in which one or a small number of bacteria or virions infects another node thus increasing the size of the transmission network. Recombination and re-assortment events originate in nodes which are common to two distinct networks. In order to calculate the probability that one node was infected by another, given the observed genetic sequences of microbial isolates sampled from them, we require two fundamental probability distributions. The first is the probability of obtaining the observed mutational differences between two isolates given that they are separated by M steps in a transmission network. The second is the probability that two nodes sampled randomly from an outbreak transmission network are separated by M transmission events. We show how these distributions can be obtained from the genetic sequences of isolates obtained by sampling from past outbreaks combined with data from contact tracing studies. Realistic examples are drawn from the SARS outbreak of 2003, the FMDV outbreak in Great Britain in 2001, and HIV transmission cases. The likelihood estimators derived in this report, and the underlying probability distribution functions required to calculate them possess certain compelling general properties in the context of microbial forensics. These include the ability to quantify the significance of a sequence 'match' or 'mismatch' between two isolates; the ability to capture non-intuitive effects of network structure on inferential power, including the 'small world' effect; the insensitivity of inferences to uncertainties in the underlying distributions; and the concept of rescaling, i.e. ability to collapse sub-networks into single nodes and examine transmission inferences on the rescaled network.
- Published through SciTech Connect., 04/28/2009., "llnl-tr-414337", and Velsko, S P; Allen, J E; Cunningham, C T.
- Funding Information:
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