Journal of Mathematical Biology

, Volume 33, Issue 4, pp 415-434

First online:

Threshold quantities for helminth infections

  • J. A. P. HeesterbeekAffiliated withDepartment of Zoology, University of Oxford
  • , M. G. RobertsAffiliated withAgResearch, Wallaceville Animal Research Centre

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For parasites with a clearly defined life-cycle we give threshold quantities that determine the stability of the parasite-free steady state for autonomous and periodic deterministic systems formulated in terms of mean parasite burdens. We discuss the biological interpretations of the quantities, how to deal with heterogeneity in both parasite and host populations, how to incorporate the effects of periodic discontinuities, and the relation of the threshold quantities to the basic reproduction ratio R 0. Examples from the literature are given. The analysis of the periodic case extends easily to ‘micro-parasitic’ systems.

Key words

Deterministic epidemic models Helminths (Non) autonomous systems Threshold behaviour Basic reproduction ratio Heterogeneity