, Volume 69, Issue 1, pp 265-288
Date: 03 Nov 2006

Modeling Tick-Borne Disease: A Metapopulation Model

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Abstract

Recent increases in reported outbreaks of tick-borne diseases have led to increased interest in understanding and controlling epidemics involving these transmission vectors. Mathematical disease models typically assume constant population size and spatial homogeneity. For tick-borne diseases, these assumptions are not always valid. The disease model presented here incorporates non-constant population sizes and spatial heterogeneity utilizing a system of differential equations that may be applied to a variety of spatial patches. We present analytical results for the one patch version and find parameter restrictions under which the populations and infected densities reach equilibrium. We then numerically explore disease dynamics when parameters are allowed to vary spatially and temporally and consider the effectiveness of various tick-control strategies.