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Section: Application Domains

Metapopulation models

Heterogeneity plays an important role in many infectious disease processes. For instance, spatial heterogeneity is a strong determinant of host-parasite relationships. In modeling spatial or geographic effects on the spread of a disease, a distinction is usually made between diffusion and dispersal models. In diffusion models, spread is to immediately adjacent zones, hence the phenomenon of traveling waves can appear. These models traditionally use partial differential equations. However, there are some important situations that cannot be modeled by PDE. This is the case when the space considered is discrete. For example, when we have to consider sparsely populated regions, the human population is located in patches. The organization of human-hosts into well-defined social units such as families, villages or cities, are good examples of patches. Another examplearises in the study of the human African Trypanosomiasis. The vector is the tse-tse fly, and it is known that flies take fewer blood meals in villages than in coffee plantations where the villagers work during the day. For such situations where human or vectors can travel a long distance in a short period of time, dispersal models are more appropriate. These models consider migration of individuals between patches. The infection does not take place during the migration process. The situation is that of a directed graph, where the vertices represent the patches and the arcs represent the links between patches. Recently, there has been increased interest in these deterministic metapopulation disease models. We have generalized to n patches the Ross-Macdonald model which describes the dynamics of malaria. We incorporate in our model the fact that some patches can be vector free. We assume that the hosts can migrate between patches, but not the vectors. The susceptible and infectious individuals have the same dispersal rate. We compute the basic reproduction ratio Im1 $\#8475 _0$ . We prove that if Im23 ${\#8475 _0\#8804 1}$ , then the disease-free equilibrium is globally asymptotically stable. When Im24 ${\#8475 _0\gt 1}$ , we prove that there exists a unique endemic equilibrium, which is globally asymptotically stable on the biological domain minus the disease-free equilibrium.


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