The Department of Mathematical Sciences will host Dr. Ilaria Dorigatti from the Imperial College, for its math seminar series. Dr. Dorigatti will present, “Understanding SARS-Co-V-2 transmission in the early phases of the COVID pandemic.” This free seminar will take place on Friday, July 22, at 12 p.m. on Zoom at


On 21st February 2020, the first Italian COVID-19 death was detected in the municipality of Vo’, a small town near Padua. At the time, the University of Padua conducted two sequential molecular swab surveys in the Vo’ population (February & March 2020) which were then followed by 3 serological surveys (May & November 2020, and June 2021). In this talk, I will present the statistical and mathematical models developed in the early phases of the pandemic around the data collected in Vo’, to understand the epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2 (Lavezzo et al, Nature, 2020), quantify heterogeneities in transmission and the effectiveness of interventions (Dorigatti et al, Nature Communications, 2021) as well as antibody dynamics and neutralization reactivity in the absence and presence of vaccination (Lavezzo et, al, Genome Medicine, 2022). I will also present the results of a recent analysis investigating the effects of different testing policies on variant emergence, where we show that surveillance using molecular testing is necessary to detect and reduce the transmission of an antigen test escaping variant which was detected in Veneto in 2020 (Del Vecchio et al, Research Square).

About Dr. Dorigatti

Dr Ilaria Dorigatti is a Lecturer and Sir Henry Dale Fellow at the MRC Centre for Infectious Disease Analysis, Imperial College London. She is a mathematical modeller and has worked on several emerging pathogens including influenza, Ebola, Zika, Yellow Fever and SARS-CoV-2. Her current research focuses on better understanding the spatiotemporal dynamics of arboviruses (mainly dengue, Zika and Chikungunya) to assess the potential impact of novel interventions. As a member of the Imperial College COVID-19 Response Team she has contributed to the international outbreak response and in collaboration with the University of Padova she led of the first studies to characterise the frequency of asymptomatic infection globally. Her past work as a member of the WHO Ebola Response Team contributed to situational awareness and response planning during the 2013-2016 Ebola Outbreak in West Africa and past work on the immunogenicity and efficacy on Sanofi Pasteur dengue vaccine informed the current WHO recommendations on dengue vaccination.