Researchers at Princeton University report results of a study on asymptomatic transmission which may guide public health experts in planning quarantines, testing, and contact tracing.
The Princeton study was published May 8 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The study examined the pros and cons of silent transmission on the pathogen’s long-term survival. Does transmission without symptoms enable the pathogen to infect greater numbers of people? Or does the lack of symptoms eventually lessen transmission and reduce the pathogen’s long-term survival?
The answer could inform how public health experts plan control measures such as quarantines, testing and contact tracing.
“An asymptomatic stage for various reasons could provide certain benefits to the pathogen,” said Bryan Grenfell, Princeton’s Kathryn Briger and Sarah Fenton Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Public Affairs, Woodrow Wilson School. “With the COVID-19 crisis, the importance of this asymptomatic phase has become extremely relevant