Project Example: Ecological characterization of 2011 EHEC outbreak data

Research Objective

In 2011, a large outbreak of entero-hemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) occurred in Germany. The City of Hamburg was the first focus of the epidemic and had the highest incidences among all sixteen German Federal States. This projects analyses the epidemiological characteristics of the Hamburg notification data. Furthermore, we conducted an ecological study in order to find a statistical model identifying associations between local socio-economic factors and EHEC/HUS incidences in the epidemic. The socio-economic variables selected in the final model suggest that the infection vehicle might rather be an unconventional food (as we consider fenugreek sprouts to be), than a conventional food, e.g. a common vegetable as tomatoes.

Statistical Methodology


We used open-source software R and R-INLA for fast fitting of the Bayesian models.

Related Publications


This work is a result of the co-supervision of the Master thesis by Maike Tahden.