Patterns, Nonlinear Dynamics and Applications - PANDA

First meeting: Pattern formation in applications I: Monday 17th December 2001, DAMTP, Cambridge

Gabriela Gomes Pattern formation in populations of antigenically diverse pathogens


Most pathogens exhibit antigenic diversity and pathogen population dynamics is driven by competition for the susceptible host resource. We describe a mathematical model where pathogen population structure emerges as three possible patterns: incidence of infection is steady and homogeneous; incidence is steady but heterogeneous; or incidence shows travelling waves crossing the spectrum of antigenic diversity. We identify the structure of strain-space and the mechanism of cumulative immunity as crucial features requiring further empirical and theoretical research.