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We introduce a model for assessing the levels and patterns of genetic diversity in pathogen populations, whose epidemiology follows a susceptible-infected-recovered model (SIR). We model the population of pathogens as a metapopulation composed of subpopulations (infected hosts), where pathogens replicate and mutate. Hosts transmit pathogens to uninfected hosts. We show that the level of pathogen variation is well predicted by analytical expressions, such that pathogen neutral molecular variation is bounded by the level of infection and increases with the duration of infection. We then introduce selection in the model and study the invasion probability of a new pathogenic strain whose fitness (R0(1+s)) is higher than the fitness of the resident strain (R0). We show that this invasion probability is given by the relative increment in R0 ...
We study the dynamics of adaptation in a spatially structured population. The model assumes local competition for replication, where each organism interacts only with its nearest neighbors and is inspired by experimental methods that can be used to study the process of adaptive evolution in microbes. In such experiments microbial populations are grown on petri dishes and allowed to adapt by serial passage. We compare the rate of adaptation in a structured population where the structure is maintained intact to those where movement of individuals can occur. We observe that the rate of adaptive evolution is higher and the mean effect of fixed beneficial mutations is lower in intact structures than in structures with mixing.
We study perturbations of cubic planforms, proving there exists perturbations with homoclinic cycles between persistent steady states. Our results do not depend on the representation of the symmetry group of the lattice, and are thus quite general. . The problem is studied using group theory rather than direct methods. We use the abstract action of the symmetry group of the perturbation on the group orbit to determine the existence of zero- and one-dimensional flow-invariant subspaces. The residual symmetry of the perturbation constrains the flows on these subspaces and, in certain cases, homoclinic cycles are guaranteed to exist. Cubic planforms are physically interesting due to their relevance to certain physical systems. Applications to reaction-diffusion systems, nonlinear optical systems and the polyacrylamide methylene blue oxy...
The evolutionary advantage of sexual reproduction has been considered as one of the most pressing questions in evolutionary biology. While a pluralistic view of the evolution of sex and recombination has been suggested by some, here we take a simpler view and try to quantify the conditions under which sex can evolve given a set of minimal assumptions. Since real populations are finite and also subject to recurrent deleterious mutations, this minimal model should apply generally to all populations. We show that the maximum advantage of recombination occurs for an intermediate value of the deleterious effect of mutations. Furthermore we show that the conditions under which the biggest advantage of sex is achieved are those that produce the fastest fitness decline in the corresponding asexual population and are therefore the conditions fo...
BACKGROUND: A characteristic of Plasmodium falciparum infections is the gradual acquisition of clinical immunity resulting from repeated exposures to the parasite. While the molecular basis of protection against clinical malaria remains unresolved, its effects on epidemiological patterns are well recognized. Accumulating epidemiological data constitute a valuable resource that must be intensively explored and interpreted as to effectively inform control planning. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDING: Here we apply a mathematical model to clinical data from eight endemic regions in sub-Saharan Africa. The model provides a quantitative framework within which differences in age distribution of clinical disease are assessed in terms of the parameters underlying transmission. The shorter infectious periods estimated for clinical infections induce ...
There is increasing recognition that reinfection is an important component of TB transmission. Moreover, it has been shown that partial immunity has significant epidemiological consequences, particularly in what concerns disease prevalence and effectiveness of control measures. We address the problem of drug resistance as a competition between two types of strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis: those that are sensitive to anti-tuberculosis drugs and those that are resistant. Our objective is to characterise the role of reinfection in the transmission of drug-resistant tuberculosis. The long-term behaviour of our model reflects how reinfection modifies the conditions for coexistence of sensitive and resistant strains. This sets the scene for discussing how strain prevalence is affected by different control strategies. It is shown that i...
The awareness that pathogens can adapt and evolve over relatively short time-scales is changing our view of infectious disease epidemiology and control. Research on the transmission dynamics of antigenically diverse pathogens is progressing and there is increasing recognition for the need of new concepts and theories. Mathematical models have been developed considering the modelling unit in two extreme scales: either diversity is not explicitly represented or diversity is represented at the finest scale of single variants. Here, we use an intermediate approach and construct a model at the scale of clusters of variants. The model captures essential properties of more detailed systems and is much more amenable to mathematical treatment. Specificities of pathogen clusters and the overall potential for transmission determine the reinfectio...
The SIR (susceptible-infectious-resistant) and SIS (susceptible-infectious-susceptible) frameworks for infectious disease have been extensively studied and successfully applied. They implicitly assume the upper and lower limits of the range of possibilities for host immune response. However, the majority of infections do not fall into either of these extreme categories. We combine two general avenues that straddle this range: temporary immune protection (immunity wanes over time since infection), and partial immune protection (immunity is not fully protective but reduces the risk of reinfection). We present a systematic analysis of the dynamics and equilibrium properties of these models in comparison to SIR and SIS, and analyse the outcome of vaccination programmes. We describe how the waning of immunity shortens inter-epidemic periods...
We investigate the dynamics of a simple epidemiological model for the invasion by a pathogen strain of a population where another strain circulates. We assume that reinfection by the same strain is possible but occurs at a reduced rate due to acquired immunity. The rate of reinfection by a distinct strain is also reduced due to cross-immunity. Individual based simulations of this model on a 'small-world' network show that the proportion of local contacts in the host contact network structure significantly affects the outcome of such an invasion, and as a consequence will affect the patterns of pathogen evolution. In particular, hosts interacting through a 'small-world' network of contacts support lower prevalence of infection than well-mixed populations, and the region in parameter space for which an invading strain can become endemic ...
Many pathogens exhibit antigenic diversity and elicit strain-specific immune responses. This potential for cross-immunity structure in the host resource motivates the development of mathematical models, stressing competition for susceptible hosts in driving pathogen population dynamics and genetics. Here we establish that certain model formulations exhibit characteristics of prototype pattern-forming systems, with pathogen population structure emerging as three possible patterns: (i) incidence is steady and homogeneous; (ii) incidence is steady but heterogeneous; and (iii) incidence shows oscillatory dynamics, with travelling waves in strain-space. Results are robust to strain number, but sensitive to the mechanism of cumulative immunity
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