Adedoyin Awofisayo-Okuyelu, Noel McCarthy, Ifunanya Mgbakor and Ian Hall.
In this study, the authors have undertaken a systematic review of outbreak investigation reports and experimental studies, extracted reported data, tested for heterogeneity, identified subgroups of studies with limited evidence of heterogeneity between them and identified factors that may contribute to the distribution of incubation period.
We identified thirteen studies to be included in the review and extracted raw incubation period data from eleven. The value of I2 was 84% and the proportion of KS test p-values that were less than 0.05 was 63.6% indicating high heterogeneity not due to chance. We identified vaccine history and attack rates as factors that may be associated with incubation period, although these were not significant in the multivariable analysis (p-value: 0.1). From the hierarchical clustering analysis, we classified the studies into five subgroups. The mean incubation period of the subgroups ranged from 9.7 days to 21.2 days. Outbreaks reporting cases with previous vaccination history were clustered in a single subgroup and reported the longest incubation period. We identified attack rate and previous vaccination as possible associating factors, however further work involving analyses of individual patient data and developing mathematical models is needed to confirm these as well as examine additional factors that have not been included in our study.
Click here to view the article, published in BMC Infectious Diseases.