2018 Volume 28 Issue 5 Pages 221-229
A mathematical model of the transmission dynamics of infectious disease is an important theoretical epidemiology method, which has been used to simulate the prevalence of hepatitis B and evaluate different immunization strategies. However, differences lie in the mathematical processes of modeling HBV transmission in published studies, not only in the model structure, but also in the estimation of certain parameters. This review reveals that the dynamics model of HBV transmission only simulates the spread of HBV in the population from the macroscopic point of view and highlights several main shortcomings in the model structure and parameter estimation. First, age-dependence is the most important characteristic in the transmission of HBV, but an age-structure model and related age-dependent parameters were not adopted in some of the compartmental models describing HBV transmission. In addition, the numerical estimation of the force of HBV infection did not give sufficient weight to the age and time factors and is not suitable using the incidence data. Lastly, the current mathematical models did not well reflect the details of the factors of HBV transmission, such as migration from high or intermediate HBV endemic areas to low endemic areas and the kind of HBV genotype. All of these shortcomings may lead to unreliable results. When the mathematical model closely reflects the fact of hepatitis B spread, the results of the model fit will provide valuable information for controlling the transmission of hepatitis B.