Population viscosity suppresses disease emergence by preserving local herd immunity

Timothy Reluga, Eunha Shim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Animal reservoirs for infectious diseases pose ongoing risks to human populations. In this theory of zoonoses, the introduction event that starts an epidemic is assumed to be independent of all preceding events. However, introductions are often concentrated in communities that bridge the ecological interfaces between reservoirs and the general population. In this paper, we explore how the risks of disease emergence are altered by the aggregation of introduction events within bridge communities. In viscous bridge communities, repeated introductions can elevate the local prevalence of immunity. This local herd immunity can form a barrier reducing the opportunities for disease emergence. In some situations, reducing exposure rates counterintuitively increases the emergence hazards because of off-setting reductions in local immunity. Increases in population mixing can also increase emergence hazards, even when average contact rates are conserved. Our theory of bridge communities may help guide prevention and explain historical emergence events, where disruption of stable economic, political or demographic processes reduced population viscosity at ecological interfaces.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number20141901
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Volume281
Issue number1796
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 22 2014

Fingerprint

Herd Immunity
immunity
Viscosity
viscosity
Population
Immunity
Hazards
Disease Reservoirs
zoonoses
human population
Biota
infectious diseases
hazard
population growth
Zoonoses
demographic statistics
infectious disease
economics
Animals
Agglomeration

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

Cite this

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Population viscosity suppresses disease emergence by preserving local herd immunity. / Reluga, Timothy; Shim, Eunha.

In: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Vol. 281, No. 1796, 20141901, 22.10.2014.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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