The dynamics of measles in sub-Saharan Africa

Matthew J. Ferrari, Rebecca F. Grais, Nita Bharti, Andrew J.K. Conlan, Ottar N. Bjørnstad, Lara J. Wolfson, Philippe J. Guerin, Ali Djibo, Bryan T. Grenfell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

196 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Although vaccination has almost eliminated measles in parts of the world, the disease remains a major killer in some high birth rate countries of the Sahel. On the basis of measles dynamics for industrialized countries, high birth rate regions should experience regular annual epidemics. Here, however, we show that measles epidemics in Niger are highly episodic, particularly in the capital Niamey. Models demonstrate that this variability arises from powerful seasonality in transmission - generating high amplitude epidemics - within the chaotic domain of deterministic dynamics. In practice, this leads to frequent stochastic fadeouts, interspersed with irregular, large epidemics. A metapopulation model illustrates how increased vaccine coverage, but still below the local elimination threshold, could lead to increasingly variable major outbreaks in highly seasonally forced contexts. Such erratic dynamics emphasize the importance both of control strategies that address build-up of susceptible individuals and efforts to mitigate the impact of large outbreaks when they occur.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)679-684
Number of pages6
JournalNature
Volume451
Issue number7179
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 7 2008

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Africa South of the Sahara
Measles
Birth Rate
Disease Outbreaks
Niger
Developed Countries
Vaccination
Vaccines
Economics

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

Cite this

Ferrari, M. J., Grais, R. F., Bharti, N., Conlan, A. J. K., Bjørnstad, O. N., Wolfson, L. J., ... Grenfell, B. T. (2008). The dynamics of measles in sub-Saharan Africa. Nature, 451(7179), 679-684. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature06509
Ferrari, Matthew J. ; Grais, Rebecca F. ; Bharti, Nita ; Conlan, Andrew J.K. ; Bjørnstad, Ottar N. ; Wolfson, Lara J. ; Guerin, Philippe J. ; Djibo, Ali ; Grenfell, Bryan T. / The dynamics of measles in sub-Saharan Africa. In: Nature. 2008 ; Vol. 451, No. 7179. pp. 679-684.
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Ferrari, MJ, Grais, RF, Bharti, N, Conlan, AJK, Bjørnstad, ON, Wolfson, LJ, Guerin, PJ, Djibo, A & Grenfell, BT 2008, 'The dynamics of measles in sub-Saharan Africa', Nature, vol. 451, no. 7179, pp. 679-684. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature06509

The dynamics of measles in sub-Saharan Africa. / Ferrari, Matthew J.; Grais, Rebecca F.; Bharti, Nita; Conlan, Andrew J.K.; Bjørnstad, Ottar N.; Wolfson, Lara J.; Guerin, Philippe J.; Djibo, Ali; Grenfell, Bryan T.

In: Nature, Vol. 451, No. 7179, 07.02.2008, p. 679-684.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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