Power and sample size calculations for testing the ratio of reproductive values in phylogenetic samples

The quality of the inferences we make from pathogen sequence data is determined by the number and composition of pathogen sequences that make up the sample used to drive that inference. However, there remains limited guidance on how to best structure and power studies when the end goal is phylogenetic inference. One question that we can attempt to answer with molecular data is whether some people are more likely to transmit a pathogen than others. Here we present an estimator to quantify differential transmission, as measured by the ratio of reproductive numbers between people with different characteristics, using transmission pairs linked by molecular data, along with a sample size calculation for this estimator. We also provide extensions to our method to correct for imperfect identification of transmission linked pairs, overdispersion in the transmission process, and group imbalance. We validate this method via simulation and provide tools to implement it in an R package, phylosamp.

Posted on:
March 7, 2024
1 minute read, 154 words
Peer Reviewed Article
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