Age-related model for estimating the symptomatic and asymptomatic transmissibility of COVID-19 patients.

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Estimation of age-dependent transmissibility of COVID-19 patients is critical for effective policymaking. Although the transmissibility of symptomatic cases has been extensively studied, asymptomatic infection is understudied due to limited data. Using a dataset with reliably distinguished symptomatic and asymptomatic statuses of COVID-19 cases, we propose an ordinary differential equation model that considers age-dependent transmissibility in transmission dynamics. Under a Bayesian framework, multi-source information is synthesized in our model for identifying transmissibility. A shrinkage prior among age groups is also adopted to improve the estimation behavior of transmissibility from age-structured data. The added values of accounting for age-dependent transmissibility are further evaluated through simulation studies. In real-data analysis, we compare our approach with two basic models using the deviance information criterion (DIC) and its extension. We find that the proposed model is more flexible for our epidemic data. Our results also suggest that the transmissibility of asymptomatic infections is significantly lower (on average, 76.45% with a credible interval (27.38%, 88.65%)) than that of symptomatic cases. In both symptomatic and asymptomatic patients, the transmissibility mainly increases with age. Patients older than 30 years are more likely to develop symptoms with higher transmissibility. We also find that the transmission burden of asymptomatic cases is lower than that of symptomatic patients.





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Tan, Jianbin, Ye Shen, Yang Ge, Leonardo Martinez and Hui Huang (2023). Age-related model for estimating the symptomatic and asymptomatic transmissibility of COVID-19 patients. Biometrics, 79(3). pp. 2525–2536. 10.1111/biom.13814 Retrieved from

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Jianbin Tan

Postdoctoral Associate

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