BioND — Dynamics of Biological Networks

Social effects in epidemiology

One result of globalization, global change, and a steadily increasing anthropogenic impact on the environment is a rising rate of new diseases arriving in the human population. Therefore, much effort is presently focused on measuring statistical properties of the different contact networks across which epidemics spread. This data then feeds into the planning of vaccination campaigns and other measures for combating epidemics.

Although the role of networks is therefore well recognized in epidemiology, Gross et al. 2006 proposed the first theoretical model which captured some effects of the reaction of a population to the epidemic. Therein, we showed that this reaction has both beneficial and detrimental effects. For instance trying to avoid contacts with infected individuals, directly reduces the risk of an individual to become infected, but, if done on a larger scale, changes the network structure such that the effectiveness of targeted vaccination is greatly reduced.

For the future an important goal will be to assess the importance of the interplay between epidemics and social behavior in more realistic example systems.

Key Publications

Epidemic dynamics on an adaptive network
Thilo Gross, Carlos Dommar D'Lima, and Bernd Blasius
Physical Review Letters 96, 208701-4, 2006.
(abstract) (link to publisher) (arXiv) (download preprint) (media coverage)

Additional Publications

Meta-food-chains as a many-layer epidemic process on networks
Edmund Barter and Thilo Gross
Physical Review E 93, 022303, 2016.
(abstract) (link to publisher) (arXiv)

Robust oscillations in SIS epidemics on adaptive networks: Coarse graining by automated moment closure
Thilo Gross and Ioannis G. Kevrekidis
Europhysics Letters 82(3), 38004-6, 2008.
(abstract) (link to publisher) (arXiv) (download preprint) (media coverage)

Seasonal forcing drives spatio-temporal pattern formation in rabies epidemics
Niels von Festenberg, Thilo Gross, and Bernd Blasius
Mathematical Modeling of Natural Phenomena 2(4), 63-73, 2007.
(abstract) (download preprint)

Adaptive coevolutionary networks: a review
Thilo Gross and Bernd Blasius
Journal of the Royal Society Interface 5(20), 259-271, 2007.
(abstract) (link to publisher) (arXiv) (download preprint)

Media Coverage

Jan Lublinski, German Public Radio (Deutschlandfunk), 2009-07-06
Wie auch bei der Schweinegrippe, ist der Krankheitsverlauf des Dengue-Fiebers meist relativ harmlos. Dennoch stecken sich ganze Städte schnell mit dem Fieber an. Wie die Ausbreitung abläuft, untersuchen derzeit Wissenschaftler in Dresden - mit Hilfe von Mathematik
(more) (mp3 audio)