Untangling the interplay between epidemic spreading and transmission network dynamic

C. Kamp

Epidemic spreading of infectious diseases is ubiquitous and has often considerable impact on public health and economic wealth. The large variability in spatio-temporal patterns of epidemics prohibits simple interventions and demands for a detailed analysis of each epidemic with respect to its infectious agent and the corresponding routes of transmission. To facilitate this analysis, a mathematical framework is introduced which links epidemic patterns to the topology and dynamics of the underlying transmission network. The evolution both in disease prevalence and transmission network topology are derived from a closed set of partial differential equations for infections without recovery which are in excellent agreement with complementarily conducted agent based simulations. The mutual influence between the epidemic process and its transmission network is shown by several case studies on HIV epidemics in synthetic populations. They reveal context dependent key processes which drive the epidemic and which in turn can be exploited for targeted intervention strategies. The mathematical framework provides a capable toolbox to analyze epidemics from first principles. This allows for fast in silico modeling - and manipulation - of epidemics which is especially powerful if complemented with adequate empirical data for parametrization.

This paper on the arXiv

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