Claudio Castellano

 Dr. Claudio Castellano

 Via dei Taurini 19, 00185 Roma, Italy

Tel: +39 06 4993 7511

Fax: +39 06 4993 7440

Mail: claudio[DOT]castellano[AT]roma1[DOT]infn[DOT]it

I am a senior research scientist at the Istituto dei Sistemi Complessi (Institute of Complex Systems, ISC-CNR), part of the National Research Council of Italy.

Some recent papers

        L. Cirigliano, C. Castellano, and G. Timar,

        Extended-range percolation in complex networks

        Phys. Rev. E 108, 044304 (2023).

European countries are focusing on testing, isolation, and boosting strategies to counter the 2022/2023 winter surge due to SARS-CoV-2 Omicron subvariants. However, widespread pandemic fatigue and limited compliance potentially undermine mitigation efforts.


To establish a baseline for interventions, we ran a multicountry survey to assess respondents’ willingness to receive booster vaccination and comply with testing and isolation mandates. Integrating survey and estimated immunity data in a branching process epidemic spreading model, we evaluated the effectiveness and costs of current protocols in France, Belgium, and Italy to manage the winter wave.


The vast majority of survey participants (N = 4594) was willing to adhere to testing (>91%) and rapid isolation (>88%) across the three countries. Pronounced differences emerged in the declared senior adherence to booster vaccination (73% in France, 94% in Belgium, 86% in Italy). Epidemic model results estimate that testing and isolation protocols would confer significant benefit in reducing transmission (17–24% reduction, from R = 1.6 to R = 1.3 in France and Belgium, to R = 1.2 in Italy) with declared adherence. Achieving a mitigating level similar to the French protocol, the Belgian protocol would require 35% fewer tests (from 1 test to 0.65 test per infected person) and avoid the long isolation periods of the Italian protocol (average of 6 days vs. 11). A cost barrier to test would significantly decrease adherence in France and Belgium, undermining protocols’ effectiveness.


Simpler mandates for isolation may increase awareness and actual compliance, reducing testing costs, without compromising mitigation. High booster vaccination uptake remains key for the control of the winter wave.Protecting interventions of many types (both pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical) can be deployed against the spreading of a communicable disease, as the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically shown. Here we investigate in detail the effects at the population level of interventions that provide an asymmetric protection between the people involved in a single interaction. Masks of different filtration types, either protecting mainly the wearer or the contacts of the wearer, are a prominent example of these interventions. By means of analytical calculations and extensive simulations of simple epidemic models on networks, we show that interventions protecting more efficiently the adopter (e.g the mask wearer) are more effective than interventions protecting primarily the contacts of the adopter in reducing the prevalence of the disease and the number of concurrently infected individuals (“flattening the curve”). This observation is backed up by the study of a more realistic epidemic model on an empirical network representing the patterns of contacts in the city of Portland. Our results point out that promoting wearer-protecting face masks and other self-protecting interventions, though deemed selfish and inefficient, can actually be a better strategy to efficiently curtail pandemic spreading.

       G. De Meijere, E. Valdano, C. Castellano, M. Debin, C. Kengne-Kuetche, C. Turbelin, H. Noël, J. S. Weitz, D. Paolotti, L. Hermans, N. Hens, V. Colizza

       Attitudes towards booster, testing and isolation, and their impact on COVID-19 response in winter 2022/2023 in France, Belgium, and Italy: a cross-sectional survey and modelling study

The Lancet Regional Health 28, 100614 (2023).

         R. Pastor-Satorras and C. Castellano

         The advantage of self-protecting interventions in mitigating epidemic circulation at the community level

Sci. Rep. 12, 15950 (2022).

        L. Cirigliano, G. Cimini, R. Pastor-Satorras and C. Castellano

        Cumulative merging percolation: A long-range percolation process in networks

        Phys. Rev. E 105, 054310 (2022).