Study: Behavior affects infectious disease

Jul 27, 2006

British scientists have used a mathematical model to show the coexistence of multiple infectious disease strains result from monogamous populations.

Although simple models predict only one strain of an infectious disease can exist at one time, scientists say observation suggests otherwise. Now, Ken Eames and Matt Keeling of the University of Warwick used a mathematical model to help explain multiple strains, showing that the way humans interact is all-important.

"When people are serially monogamous -- with interactions occurring one at a time -- groups with different behavior favor strains with different properties," the scientists said. "When new interactions occur frequently, rapidly transmitted strains are most successful, but when new interactions take place infrequently there is extra pressure on strains to have a long infectious period."

The study appears in the August issue of The American Naturalist.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: New study utilizes Kinect for Windows technology to teach elementary school students geometry

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

What makes Toxoplasma gondii so unpredictable?

Dec 01, 2014

Toxoplasma gondii is a common parasite often spread by cats. Most people who are infected in Europe or North America show no symptoms at all, and only a few suffer from encephalitis or ocular toxoplasmosis, ...

Recommended for you

Super Bowl athletes are scientists at work

Jan 30, 2015

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman gets called a lot of things. He calls himself the greatest cornerback in the NFL (and Seattle fans tend to agree). Sportswriters and some other players call him ...

Reintegrating extremist into society

Jan 30, 2015

The UK government's increasingly punitive response to those involved in terrorism risks undermining efforts to successfully reintegrate former extremists, according to research by the University of St Andrews.

Strategies to enhance intelligence analysis

Jan 30, 2015

If you've ever watched a thriller about undercover agents, you probably have the impression that intelligence officers are models of objectivity, pragmatism and sharp, unbiased thinking. However, in reality ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.