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A precursor of molecular epidemiology, in which inferences about the past course of infectious disease in a population, and current levels of herd immunity, were based on the distribution of antibodies in the population. The method was used to elucidate details of the epidemiology of important communicable diseases, such as diphtheria and poliomyelitis, and is still widely used, e.g., to assess prevalence of West Nile virus infection.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology.

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