Estimating the tracing probability from contact history at the onset of an epidemic

Johannes Müller, Volker Hösel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Contact tracing is believed to be an effective method to control infectious diseases. If an infected person is noticed (the index case), one tries to find other infected persons through the contact history of the index case. The distribution of the total number of additionally detected persons per index case is derived, partially by heuristic arguments. The reproduction number influences this distribution only weakly, and the detection rate of index cases even less. This distribution depends mainly on the tracing probability. An estimator for the tracing probability is derived. This estimator is applied to data for tuberculosis and chlamydia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-236
Number of pages26
JournalMathematical Population Studies
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2007


  • Branching process
  • Chlamydia
  • Contact tracing
  • Parameter estimation
  • Tuberculosis


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