The basic-reproduction number of infectious diseases in spatially structured host populations

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Van den Bosch, F., Helps, J. and Cunniffe, N. 2024. The basic-reproduction number of infectious diseases in spatially structured host populations. Oikos. p. e10616. https://doi.org/10.1111/oik.10616

AuthorsVan den Bosch, F., Helps, J. and Cunniffe, N.
Abstract

The spatial structure of a host population has a profound effect on the dynamics of infectious diseases. The basic reproduction number, a central quantity in the study of epidemic dynamics, is affected by host clustering as well as host density.

Several authors have developed methods to quantify the basic reproduction number in a spatially structured host population. The methods used and the expressions derived are however difficult to apply to real life spatial host structures. In this paper we introduce an explicit expression for the basic reproduction number using the O-ring statistic, developed in spatial statistics, that quantifies the host density as a function of the distance from a randomly selected host individual. The O-ring statistic is frequently used in the study of the ecology of spatially structured plant populations, being a convenient summary of the properties of a landscape by way of a single function.

The connection we develop between spatial statistics and epidemic dynamics can be used to study the effect of host spatial pattern on the basic reproduction number of infectious diseases. As well as showing how explicit expressions for the basic reproduction number can be derived for landscapes with standard structures, our expression for the basic reproduction number is tested against a simulation model. The model structure in our simulation is motivated by the spread of a plant disease epidemic, although it is applicable more broadly. The agreement between our analytic expression for the basic reproduction number and the corresponding numeric quantity extracted from simulations is close to perfect across a wide range of landscape structures and model parameterisations, and including cases in which more than one species is at risk of infection.

KeywordsO-ring statistic; Host clustering; Net-reproductive number; Pathogen dispersal function; Point process
Year of Publication2024
JournalOikos
Journal citationp. e10616
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1111/oik.10616
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Funder project or codeGrowing Health [ISP]
Publisher's version
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online18 Jun 2024
Publication process dates
Accepted14 May 2024
PublisherWiley
ISSN0030-1299

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