The rising impact of mathematical modelling in epidemiology: antibiotic resistance research as a case study

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Mathematical modelling of infectious diseases has gradually become part of public health decision-making in recent years. However, the developing status of modelling in epidemiology and its relationship with other relevant scientific approaches have never been assessed quantitatively. Herein, using antibiotic resistance as a case study, 60 published models were analysed. Their interactions with other scientific fields are reported and their citation impact evaluated, as well as temporal trends. The yearly number of antibiotic resistance modelling publications increased significantly between 1990 and 2006. This rise cannot be explained by the surge of interest in resistance phenomena alone. Moreover, modelling articles are, on average, among the most frequently cited third of articles from the journal in which they were published. The results of this analysis, which might be applicable to other emerging public health problems, demonstrate the growing interest in mathematical modelling approaches to evaluate antibiotic resistance.

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