Using sensitivity analysis to examine the effects of an Ebola vaccine

Robert Smith?

Mathematics, The University of Ottawa.


Several Ebola vaccines currently under development have demonstrated promising results in clinical trials. We propose a compartmental model representing the various stages in the development of the Ebola virus disease based on vaccination status. Investigation of the model’s basic reproduction number allows us to determine the perversity threshold, which describes the conditions in which the number of secondary infections could increase due to the vaccine. We analyze the influence of each parameter in the model through the use of Partial Rank Correlation Coefficients and Latin Hypercube Sampling. We show that the reproduction number could be significantly reduced if the vaccine is widely administered to individuals who are incubating the disease or if the contact rates with unvaccinated individuals are kept to less than one per week. It follows that the prophylactic properties of the candidate Ebola vaccines can decrease the severity of future outbreaks if applied carefully.

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