Metapopulation Dynamics of Infectious Diseases

Matt J. Keeling, Ottar N. Bjørnstad, Bryan T. Grenfell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

38 Scopus citations


This chapter uses extensive data sets and realistic dynamic models to discuss the metapopulation dynamics of infectious disease. Because of the dual spatial scales of regulation, an extended metapopulation paradigm is central to infectious disease dynamics in two important ways. First, the metapopulation approach can help researchers understand disease dynamics at different spatial scales. Second, there are important conceptual insights into the eradication of infections by vaccination to be gained from studies of the persistence of metapopulations. This chapter therefore explores two main topics: the analogies between the disciplines of ecology and epidemiology at the metapopulation level, and how the metapopulation theory can help understand the epidemiological dynamics. It discusses these issues by using a set of detailed models and high-resolution space-time data of disease incidence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEcology, Genetics and Evolution of Metapopulations
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages31
ISBN (Print)9780123234483
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2004


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Keeling, M. J., Bjørnstad, O. N., & Grenfell, B. T. (2004). Metapopulation Dynamics of Infectious Diseases. In Ecology, Genetics and Evolution of Metapopulations (pp. 415-445). Elsevier Inc..