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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10373/1124

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Title: Complexity and anisotropy in host morphology make populations less susceptible to epidemic outbreaks
Authors: Perez-Reche, Francisco J.
Taraskin, Sergei N.
Costa, Luciano da F.
Neri, Franco M.
Gilligan, Christopher A.
Affiliation: University of Abertay Dundee. School of Contemporary Sciences
University of Abertay Dundee. Scottish Informatics, Mathematics, Biology and Statistics Centre
Keywords: Epidemics
Issue Date: Jul-2010
Publisher: The Royal Society
Type: Journal Article
Refereed: peer-reviewed
Rights: This is the author's final version of this article. Published version (c)The Royal Society, available from http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/​rsif.2009.0475
Citation: Perez-Reche, F.J., et al. 2010. Complexity and anisotropy in host morphology make populations less susceptible to epidemic outbreaks. Journal of the Royal Society Interface. 7(48): pp.1083-1092. Available from http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/​rsif.2009.0475
Abstract: One of the challenges in epidemiology is to account for the complex morphological structure of hosts such as plant roots, crop fields, farms, cells, animal habitats and social networks, when the transmission of infection occurs between contiguous hosts. Morphological complexity brings an inherent heterogeneity in populations and affects the dynamics of pathogen spread in such systems. We have analysed the influence of realistically complex host morphology on the threshold for invasion and epidemic outbreak in an SIR (susceptible-infected-recovered) epidemiological model. We show that disorder expressed in the host morphology and anisotropy reduces the probability of epidemic outbreak and thus makes the system more resistant to epidemic outbreaks. We obtain general analytical estimates for minimally safe bounds for an invasion threshold and then illustrate their validity by considering an example of host data for branching hosts (salamander retinal ganglion cells). Several spatial arrangements of hosts with different degrees of heterogeneity have been considered in order to analyse separately the role of shape complexity and anisotropy in the host population. The estimates for invasion threshold are linked to morphological characteristics of the hosts that can be used for determining the threshold for invasion in practical applications.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10373/1124
ISSN: 1742-5689
Appears in Collections:SIMBIOS Collection

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