Coupled, multi-strain epidemic models of mutating pathogens

Meehan, Michael T., Cocks, Daniel G., Trauer, James M., and McBryde, Emma S. (2018) Coupled, multi-strain epidemic models of mutating pathogens. Mathematical Biosciences, 296. pp. 82-92.

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We introduce and analyze coupled, multi-strain epidemic models designed to simulate the emergence and dissemination of mutant (e.g. drug-resistant) pathogen strains. In particular, we investigate the mathematical and biological properties of a general class of multi-strain epidemic models in which the infectious compartments of each strain are coupled together in a general manner. We derive explicit expressions for the basic reproduction number of each strain and highlight their importance in regulating the system dynamics (e.g. the potential for an epidemic outbreak) and the existence of nonnegative endemic solutions. Importantly, we find that the basic reproduction number of each strain is independent of the mutation rates between the strains — even under quite general assumptions for the form of the infectious compartment coupling. Moreover, we verify that the coupling term promotes strain coexistence (as an extension of the competitive exclusion principle) and demonstrate that the strain with the greatest reproductive capacity is not necessarily the most prevalent. Finally, we briefly discuss the implications of our results for public health policy and planning.

Item ID: 52050
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1879-3134
Keywords: drug resistance, evolution, coupled, multi-strain
Date Deposited: 17 Jan 2018 23:47
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4202 Epidemiology > 420205 Epidemiological modelling @ 20%
49 MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES > 4901 Applied mathematics > 490102 Biological mathematics @ 80%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920404 Disease Distribution and Transmission (incl. Surveillance and Response) @ 40%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970101 Expanding Knowledge in the Mathematical Sciences @ 20%
92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920109 Infectious Diseases @ 40%
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