Toilet in a village in Fiji that had recently experienced an outbreak of typhoid fever.
Diarrheal diseases, along with typhoid and paratyphoid fever, are among the leading causes of death among children worldwide. While the introduction of clean water and sanitation infrastructure has drastically reduced the burden of some enteric pathogens in the United States and other developed countries, much of the world still suffers from a high burden of disease. Furthermore, certain pathogens continue to circulate and cause outbreaks closer to home.
Research on enteric diseases in the Department of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases includes:
- Describing the transmission dynamics and impact of vaccination against rotavirus in the United States and developing countries
- Developing mathematical and statistical models to estimate the burden of typhoid fever and to predict the impact and cost-effectiveness of typhoid conjugate vaccine strategies across low- and middle-income countries
- Understanding the predominant routes of transmission and control options for cholera epidemics, past and present
- Investigating and responding to outbreaks of food-borne disease in Connecticut through FoodNet, FoodCORE and the Emerging Infections Program
The Pitzer Lab focuses on using mathematical and statistical models to describe transmission patterns, estimate the burden, and predict and quantify the impact of interventions targeting enteric pathogens, including rotavirus, Salmonella Typhi, and cholera. The Pitzer lab works closely with collaborators at field sites in Malawi, Bangladesh, and Nepal. Additionally, the Emerging Infections Program works with the Connecticut Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to conduct active surveillance for foodborne illness and to investigate and respond to foodborne outbreaks in the state of Connecticut.