Environmental variation generates environmental opportunist pathogen outbreaks

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    Sammanfattning

    Many socio-economically important pathogens persist and grow in the outside host
    environment and opportunistically invade host individuals. The environmental growth
    and opportunistic nature of these pathogens has received only little attention in
    epidemiology. Environmental reservoirs are, however, an important source of novel
    diseases. Thus, attempts to control these diseases require different approaches than in
    traditional epidemiology focusing on obligatory parasites. Conditions in the outsidehost
    environment are prone to fluctuate over time. This variation is a potentially
    important driver of epidemiological dynamics and affect the evolution of novel
    diseases. Using a modelling approach combining the traditional SIRS models to
    environmental opportunist pathogens and environmental variability, we show that
    epidemiological dynamics of opportunist diseases are profoundly driven by the quality
    of environmental variability, such as the long-term predictability and magnitude of
    fluctuations. When comparing periodic and stochastic environmental factors, for a
    given variance, stochastic variation is more likely to cause outbreaks than periodic
    variation. This is due to the extreme values being further away from the mean.
    Moreover, the effects of variability depend on the underlying biology of the
    epidemiological system, and which part of the system is being affected. Variation in
    host susceptibility leads to more severe pathogen outbreaks than variation in pathogen
    growth rate in the environment. Positive correlation in variation on both targets can
    cancel the effect of variation altogether. Moreover, the severity of outbreaks is
    significantly reduced by increase in the duration of immunity. Uncovering these issues
    helps in understanding and controlling diseases caused by environmental pathogens.
    Originalspråkengelska
    Artikelnummere0145511
    TidskriftPLoS One
    Volym10
    Utgåva12
    Antal sidor15
    ISSN1932-6203
    DOI
    StatusPublicerad - 2015
    MoE-publikationstypA1 Tidskriftsartikel-refererad

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