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Keywords:

  • Bayesian estimation;
  • Hierarchical growth curve models;
  • Latent data;
  • Markov chain Monte Carlo simulation;
  • Subclinical infection with Haemophilus influenzas type

Summary. A hierarchical Bayesian regression model is fitted to longitudinal data on Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) serum antibodies. To estimate the decline rate of the antibody concentration, the model accommodates the possibility of unobserved subclinical infections with Hib bacteria that cause increasing concentrations during the study period. The computations rely on Markov chain Monte Carlo simulation of the joint posterior distribution of the model parameters. The model is used to predict the duration of immunity to subclinical Hib infection and to a serious invasive Hib disease.