Territorial animals smoothed curves of the spread of infectious diseases

Although the number of direct contacts with other individuals are territorial animals and therefore they do not cause major outbreaks of epidemics such animals leave the boundaries of their possessions, a label that may for a long time to spread pathogens reported in PLoS Computational Biology. Because of this infection among territorial species and their neighbours are spread quite slowly, but circulate for a long time. It showed the results of mathematical modeling, which was conducted by American scientists.

The spread of infections depends not only on the number of individuals who are susceptible to them, but also population density, the incubation period of the infection, the lifetime of the pathogen outside the host, the nature of the movements of potential victims of the epidemic, and many other factors. They studied to differing degrees: for example, how and where to move individuals, is rarely considered in epidemiological models, while in developing programmes for the conservation and restoration of populations of different species, this parameter is usually taken into account.

Employees of several scientific institutions in the USA, headed by Lauren white (Lauren A. White) from the University of Maryland have developed a mathematical model of infection in which, among other things, you can choose different strategies of behavior of the animals: collective accommodation or location when on a certain terrain of the area found only one individual of this species and periodically bypasses it, leaving the boundary of the label (in the case of this model it was assumed that they smell). Them find other individuals who leave in response to their and go somewhere else. It is a variant of indirect communication called stigmergy. If odorous substances are markers of infectious agents, the disease spreads at the expense of stigmergy.

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