Original Article

Bulletin of Mathematical Biology

, Volume 68, Issue 1, pp 3-23

First online:

Traveling Waves and Spread Rates for a West Nile Virus Model

  • Mark LewisAffiliated withDepartment of Biological Sciences, University of AlbertaDepartment of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences, University of Alberta
  • , Joanna RencławowiczAffiliated withDepartment of Biological Sciences, University of AlbertaInstitute of Mathematics, Polish Academy of SciencesDepartment of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Victoria Email author 
  • , P. van den DriesscheAffiliated withDepartment of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Victoria

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


A reaction–diffusion model for the spatial spread of West Nile virus is developed and analysed. Infection dynamics are based on a modified version of a model for cross infection between birds and mosquitoes (Wonham et al., 2004, An epidemiological model for West-Nile virus: Invasion analysis and control application. Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B 271), and diffusion terms describe movement of birds and mosquitoes. Working with a simplified version of the model, the cooperative nature of cross-infection dynamics is utilized to prove the existence of traveling waves and to calculate the spatial spread rate of infection. Comparison theorem results are used to show that the spread rate of the simplified model may provide an upper bound for the spread rate of a more realistic and complex version of the model.


West Nile virus model Traveling waves Spread rate Comparison theorems