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The role of seasonality and import in a minimalistic multi-strain dengue model capturing differences between primary and secondary infections: Complex dynamics and its implications for data analysis

The role of seasonality and import in a minimalistic multi-strain dengue model capturing differences between primary and secondary infections: Complex

The role of seasonality and import in a minimalistic multi-strain dengue model capturing differences between primary and secondary infections: Complex dynamics and its implications for data analysis  
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In many countries in Asia and South-America dengue fever (DF) and dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) has become a substantial public health concern leading to serious social-economic costs. Mathematical models describing the transmission of dengue viruses have focussed on the so-called antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) effect and temporary cross-immunity trying to explain the irregular behavior of dengue epidemics by analyzing available data. However, no systematic investigation of the possible dynamical structures has been performed so far. Our study focuses on a seasonally forced (non-autonomous) model with temporary cross-immunity and possible secondary infection, motivated by dengue fever epidemiology. The notion of at least two different strains is needed in a minimalistic model to describe differences between primary infections, often asymptomatic, and secondary infection, associated with the severe form of the disease. We extend the previously studied non-seasonal (autonomous) model by adding seasonal forcing, mimicking the vectorial dynamics, and a low import of infected individuals, which is realistic in the dynamics of dengue fever epidemics. A comparative study between three different scenarios (non-seasonal, low seasonal and high seasonal with a low import of infected individuals) is performed. The extended models show complex dynamics and qualitatively a good agreement between empirical DHF monitoring data and the obtained model simulation. We discuss the role of seasonal forcing and the import of infected individuals in such systems, the biological relevance and its implications for the analysis of the available dengue data. At the moment only such minimalistic models have a chance to be qualitatively understood well and eventually tested against existing data. The simplicity of the model (low number of parameters and state variables) offer a promising perspective on parameter values inference from the DHF case notifications.
Journal: Journal of Theoretical Biology - J THEOR BIOL , vol. 289, pp. 181-196, 2011
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