Adedoyin Awofisayo-Okuyelu

Estimating parameter distributions and developing epidemiological methods and tools to support GI outbreak investigations

Personal Statement:

Adedoyin started in the Tracking Theme PhD studentship ‘Estimating parameter distributions and developing epidemiological methods and tools to support GI outbreak investigations’ in January 2016, with supervisors Noel McCarthy of University of Oxford and Ian Hall of University of Manchester. Adedoyin is a graduate of the University of Birmingham. She previously worked for Public Health England as an Epidemiologist. Her areas of interests are infectious disease epidemiology, outbreak investigations and international health.


In addition to being a full-time PhD student, Adedoyin has several interests outside of school including running and shoe designing.



Lay Summary:

Both parameters, such as incubation time, and analytical approaches used in outbreak investigation largely follow long standing estimates and methods. Cited incubation time parameters for some infections are based on very little evidence, for novel infections they are unknown, and factors affecting incubation are poorly understood. In some high-profile outbreaks, such as the STEC O104 outbreak in Germany in 2011, incubation times were longer than expected, complicating the collection of exposure data.

This research project aims to estimate the incubation period of common gastrointestinal pathogens including Salmonella Typhi, STEC O157 and non-O157 and Campylobacter. This will involve conducting a number of systematic reviews of outbreak reports and experimental studies in order to ascertain reported values in the literature and identify influencing factors. Analysis of individual patient data of cases associated with outbreaks will also be undertaken to identify patient related factors that may influence incubation period. Finally, a within-host mathematical model which simulates the infection process from ingestion to onset of illness will be developed. This will identify the time period of each stage in the infection process and estimate the incubation period. It will also identify factors intrinsic to the infection process that influence the incubation period.

Outcome from this research project will aid effective outbreak investigations and public health interventions as well as inform the development of public health policy.


  • Noel McCarthy - NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Gastrointestinal Infections, University of Warwick
  • Ian Hall - Bioterrorism and Emerging Disease Analysis, Public Health England


Awofisayo-Okuyelu A, Hall I, Adak G, Hawker JI, Abbott S, McCarthy N. A systematic review and meta-analysis on the incubation period of campylobacteriosis. Epidemiololgy and Infection. 2017, 145: 2241-2253

Kanagarajah S, Mook P, Crook P, Awofisayo-Okuyelu, A, McCarthy N. Taste and safety: Is the exceptional cuisine offered by high end restaurants paralleled by high standards of food safety? PLoS Current Outbreaks. 2016, 1.

Awofisayo-Okuyelu A, Verlander NQ, Amar C, Elson R, Grant K, Harris J. Factors influencing the time between onset of illness and specimen collection in the diagnosis of non-pregnancy associated listeriosis in England and Wales. BMC Infectious Diseases. 2016, 16:311.