Coexistence and specialization of pathogen strains on contact networks

Eames, KTD; Keeling, MJ; (2006) Coexistence and specialization of pathogen strains on contact networks. The American naturalist, 168 (2). pp. 230-241. ISSN 0003-0147 DOI:

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The coexistence of different pathogen strains has implications for pathogen variability and disease control and has been explained in a number of different ways. We use contact networks, which represent interactions between individuals through which infection could be transmitted, to investigate strain coexistence. For sexually transmitted diseases the structure of contact networks has received detailed study and has been shown to be a vital determinant of the epidemiological dynamics. By using analytical pairwise models and stochastic simulations, we demonstrate that network structure also has a profound influence on the interaction between pathogen strains. In particular, when the population is serially monogamous, fully cross-reactive strains can coexist, with different strains dominating in network regions with different characteristics. Furthermore, we observe specialization of different strains in different risk groups within the network, suggesting the existence of diverging evolutionary pressures.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Computer Simulation, Contact Tracing, methods, Evolution, Humans, Models, Biological, Virus Diseases, transmission
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Infectious Disease Epidemiology
PubMed ID: 16874632
Web of Science ID: 239831200010


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