Surveillance and modelling of communicable diseases

Pierre-Yves BOËLLE

The SUMO team brings together research specialists for the development of epidemiological information systems used in the surveillance of communicable diseases and the analysis of their dissemination using modelling approaches.

Team presentation

Communicable diseases remain a major problem in public health. Mobility, both regional and global, allow the ever faster spread of infectious pathogens and create the conditions for the emergence of new diseases. These phenomena are also supported by individual behavioural choices, for example vaccination hesitancy reducing population protection or inappropriate consumption of antibiotics increasing bacterial resistance.

The team is developing several projects to better characterize communicable diseases and their spread in modern populations:

  • with the Sentinelles network (, we produce real-time statistics on the spread of common or emerging communicable diseases in France in the general population, and on certain infections monitored as part of the support centre for the prevention of healthcare associated infections (CPIAS) in the Île-de-France region;
  • we study of emerging infectious diseases that may directly or indirectly affect France such as Ebola or vectorborne diseases such as Zika and Chikungunya, but also infections on return from travel with the Malaria travellers registry;
  • we model pathogen transmission at the local or regional scale using contact networks, with large scale models in the GLEAM project (, and the transmission of nosocomial pathogens between health facilities;
  • we use back-calculation models to analyze the epidemiology of HIV infection in the FHDH database (ANRS C04) and to quantify the management cascade, from infection to treatment.

These projects are based on transversal methodological developments in the field of computational statistical inference (ML, MCMC, ABC) allowing us to adjust complex models to observation data, and on the theoretical analysis of the characteristics of the dynamic networks supporting transmission