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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Modeling R₀ for Pathogens with Environmental Transmission: Animal Movements, Pathogen Populations, and Local Infectious Zones.

  • Author(s): Blackburn, Jason K
  • Ganz, Holly H
  • Ponciano, José Miguel
  • Turner, Wendy C
  • Ryan, Sadie J
  • Kamath, Pauline
  • Cizauskas, Carrie
  • Kausrud, Kyrre
  • Holt, Robert D
  • Stenseth, Nils Chr
  • Getz, Wayne M
  • et al.

How a disease is transmitted affects our ability to determine R₀, the average number of new cases caused by an infectious host at the onset of an epidemic. R₀ becomes progressively more difficult to compute as transmission varies from directly transmitted diseases to diseases that are vector-borne to environmentally transmitted diseases. Pathogens responsible for diseases with environmental transmission are typically maintained in environmental reservoirs that exhibit a complex spatial distribution of local infectious zones (LIZs). Understanding host encounters with LIZs and pathogen persistence within LIZs is required for an accurate R₀ and modeling these contacts requires an integrated geospatial and dynamical systems approach. Here we review how interactions between host and pathogen populations and environmental reservoirs are driven by landscape-level variables, and synthesize the quantitative framework needed to formulate outbreak response and disease control.

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