A branching model for the spread of infectious animal diseases in varying environments

J.P. Trapman, R.W.J. Meester, H. Heesterbeek

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This paper is concerned with a stochastic model, describing outbreaks of infectious diseases that have potentially great animal or human health consequences, and which can result in such severe economic losses that immediate sets of measures need to be taken to curb the spread. During an outbreak of such a disease, the environment that the infectious agent experiences is therefore changing due to the subsequent control measures taken. In our model, we introduce a general branching process in a changing (but not random) environment. With this branching process, we estimate the probability of extinction and the expected number of infected individuals for different control measures. We also use this branching process to calculate the generating function of the number of infected individuals at any given moment. The model and methods are designed using important infections of farmed animals, such as classical swine fever, foot-and-mouth disease and avian influenza as motivating examples, but have a wider application, for example to emerging human infections that lead to strict quarantine of cases and suspected cases (e.g. SARS) and contact and movement restrictions. © Springer-Verlag 2004.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)553-576
JournalJournal of Mathematical Biology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2004

Bibliographical note



Dive into the research topics of 'A branching model for the spread of infectious animal diseases in varying environments'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this