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Thursday, October 31, 2013
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
CNLS Conference Room (TA-3, Bldg 1690)

Postdoc Seminar

Competition between infectors for susceptible individuals as a key driver of infectious disease dynamics

Ben Althouse
Santa Fe Institute

Heterogeneities exist in every facet of life. Some individuals make more money than others, some have more friends, some businesses dominate markets while others fall behind. In infectious disease, it is a common phenomenon that a minority of cases are responsible for a disproportionate percentage of the total transmission that occurs. While it is clear that biological and social variation does exist, and must result in differences in disease transmission, these traditional explanations may be missing a crucial point: heterogeneity is an inherent property of the disease transmission process itself even in homogeneous populations. Here, through a combination of reanalysis of outbreak data and network simulations, I demonstrate heterogeneous transmission patterns arising in homogeneous populations. I present possible extensions of the theory to accurately estimate individual heterogeneity in infectious disease transmission and present examples of over-dispersed data outside of infectious disease to which this framework could be applied.

Host: Terry Haut