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A simple stochastic model with environmental transmission explains multi-year periodicity in outbreaks of avian flu

Wang, R.H. and Jin, Z. and Liu, Q.X. and Van de Koppel, J. and Alonso, D. (2012) A simple stochastic model with environmental transmission explains multi-year periodicity in outbreaks of avian flu. PLoS One, 7, e28873-. ISSN 1932-6203.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0028873

Abstract

Avian influenza virus reveals persistent and recurrent outbreaks in North American wild waterfowl, and exhibits major outbreaks at 2–8 years intervals in duck populations. The standard susceptible-infected- recovered (SIR) framework, which includes seasonal migration and reproduction, but lacks environmental transmission, is unable to reproduce the multi-periodic patterns of avian influenza epidemics. In this paper, we argue that a fully stochastic theory based on environmental transmission provides a simple, plausible explanation for the phenomenon of multi-year periodic outbreaks of avian flu. Our theory predicts complex fluctuations with a dominant period of 2 to 8 years which essentially depends on the intensity of environmental transmission. A wavelet analysis of the observed data supports this prediction. Furthermore, using master equations and van Kampen system-size expansion techniques, we provide an analytical expression for the spectrum of stochastic fluctuations, revealing how the outbreak period varies with the environmental transmission.

Item Type:Article
Institutes:Nederlands Instituut voor Ecologie (NIOO)
ID Code:12135
Deposited On:14 May 2012 16:06
Last Modified:22 Aug 2013 11:54

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