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Data on face-to-face contacts in an office building suggest a low-cost vaccination strategy based on community linkers

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 March 2015

MATHIEU GÉNOIS
Affiliation:
Aix Marseille Université, Université de Toulon, CNRS, CPT, UMR 7332, 13288 Marseille, France (e-mail: genois@cpt.univ-mrs.fr)
CHRISTIAN L. VESTERGAARD
Affiliation:
Aix Marseille Université, Université de Toulon, CNRS, CPT, UMR 7332, 13288 Marseille, France (e-mail: genois@cpt.univ-mrs.fr)
JULIE FOURNET
Affiliation:
Aix Marseille Université, Université de Toulon, CNRS, CPT, UMR 7332, 13288 Marseille, France (e-mail: genois@cpt.univ-mrs.fr)
ANDRÉ PANISSON
Affiliation:
Data Science Laboratory, ISI Foundation, Torino, Italy
ISABELLE BONMARIN
Affiliation:
Département des maladies infectieuses, Institut de veille sanitaire, Saint-Maurice, France
ALAIN BARRAT
Affiliation:
Aix Marseille Université, Université de Toulon, CNRS, CPT, UMR 7332, 13288 Marseille, France and Data Science Laboratory, ISI Foundation, Torino, Italy

Abstract

Empirical data on contacts between individuals in social contexts play an important role in providing information for models describing human behavior and how epidemics spread in populations. Here, we analyze data on face-to-face contacts collected in an office building. The statistical properties of contacts are similar to other social situations, but important differences are observed in the contact network structure. In particular, the contact network is strongly shaped by the organization of the offices in departments, which has consequences in the design of accurate agent-based models of epidemic spread. We consider the contact network as a potential substrate for infectious disease spread and show that its sparsity tends to prevent outbreaks of rapidly spreading epidemics. Moreover, we define three typical behaviors according to the fraction f of links each individual shares outside its own department: residents, wanderers, and linkers. Linkers (f ~ 50%) act as bridges in the network and have large betweenness centralities. Thus, a vaccination strategy targeting linkers efficiently prevents large outbreaks. As such a behavior may be spotted a priori in the offices' organization or from surveys, without the full knowledge of the time-resolved contact network, this result may help the design of efficient, low-cost vaccination or social-distancing strategies.

Type
Research Article
Information
Network Science , Volume 3 , Issue 3 , September 2015 , pp. 326 - 347
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2015 

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