The goal of Fluscape is to characterize the immunological profiles to human influenza in space and time of individuals residing in the Guangzhou Province, China, and to capture the transmission dynamics contributing to those observed immunological distributions through computational models.
The influenza virus is one of the most genetically mutable pathogens of humans. Our immune response places substantial pressure on the virus, resulting in rapid turnover of genetic lineages from year to year while building a record of the strains we have been infected with in the form of strain-specific antibodies. These patterns of these immunological profiles in space and time present a rich data source for investigation of the impact of human social interactions and demographics on influenza transmission, key determinants of the ecology of the influenza virus. In this ongoing study, researchers from several institutions in the US, the UK, Hong Kong, and China will conduct a study of the immune landscape of influenza, linking that immune landscape, at the individual-level, to data on household structure, travel behavior and social networks.
Aging, a project under Fluscape, aims to analyze influenza dynamics in southern China in relation to specific household demographics, social networks, and immune response. These data will be collected via a spatially structured sample regime of randomly selected houses in the study space, contact diaries from these individuals, and sera collection for antibody tests. After data collection, a spatially explicit dynamic demographic model of the population of Guangdong and influenza transmission models will be used to test specific hypotheses concerning the relationship between population density, travel behavior, household structure and non-household social networks on disease incidence.