Article

Epidemiological consequences of a pathogen having both virulent and avirulent modes of transmission: the case of rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus

Citation

White P, Norman R & Hudson PJ (2002) Epidemiological consequences of a pathogen having both virulent and avirulent modes of transmission: the case of rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus. Epidemiology and Infection, 129 (3), pp. 665-677. http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=137505; https://doi.org/10.1017/S095026880200777X

Abstract
A number of pathogens cause chronic infection in survivors of acute disease and this is believed to be a common means of persistence, including for highly virulent agents. We present a model in which transmission from chronically infected hosts causes chronic infection in naive individuals, without causing acute disease - indeed ‘protecting' against it. Thus the pathogen obtains the benefit of virulence (high transmission rate), but mitigates against the cost (high host mortality). Recent findings suggest that rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV), a highly contagious and virulent pathogen, may also utilize this alternative, 'avirulent', mode of transmission. The model may resolve the paradox of how RHDV can be highly prevalent in some populations, in the absence of mortality. Differences in host demography determine whether avirulent transmission prevents large-scale mortality (as in most UK populations) or not. Other pathogens may exhibit similar behaviour and the implications for emerging diseases in general are discussed.

Journal
Epidemiology and Infection: Volume 129, Issue 3

StatusPublished
Publication date31/12/2002
Publication date online10/01/2003
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/7534
PublisherCambridge University Press
Publisher URLhttp://journals.cambridge.org/…nline&aid=137505
ISSN0950-2688

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