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Increasing evidence that the strengths of interactions among populations in biological communities form patterns that are crucial for system stability requires clarification of the precise form of these patterns, how they come about, and why they influence stability. We show that in real food webs, interaction strengths are organized in trophic loops in(More)
The basic reproduction number (0) is arguably the most important quantity in infectious disease epidemiology. The next-generation matrix (NGM) is the natural basis for the definition and calculation of (0) where finitely many different categories of individuals are recognized. We clear up confusion that has been around in the literature concerning the(More)
We propose a new threshold quantity for the analysis of the epidemiology of infectious diseases. The quantity is similar in concept to the familiar basic reproduction ratio, R0, but it singles out particular host types instead of providing a criterion that is uniform for all host types. Using this methodology we are able to identify the long-term effects of(More)
Understanding how complex food webs assemble through time is fundamental both for ecological theory and for the development of sustainable strategies of ecosystem conservation and restoration. The build-up of complexity in communities is theoretically difficult, because in random-pattern models complexity leads to instability. There is growing evidence,(More)
Percolation theory is most commonly associated with the slow flow of liquid through a porous medium, with applications to the physical sciences. Epidemiological applications have been anticipated for disease systems where the host is a plant or volume of soil, and hence is fixed in space. However, no natural examples have been reported. The central question(More)
An SEI metapopulation model is developed for the spread of an infectious agent by migration. The model portrays two age classes on a number of patches connected by migration routes which are used as host animals mature. A feature of this model is that the basic reproduction ratio may be computed directly, using a scheme that separates topography,(More)
We investigate the merit of deriving an estimate of the basic reproduction number R0 early in an outbreak of an (emerging) infection from estimates of the incidence and generation interval only. We compare such estimates of R0 with estimates incorporating additional model assumptions, and determine the circumstances under which the different estimates are(More)
BACKGROUND To support the development of early warning and surveillance systems of emerging zoonoses, we present a general method to prioritize pathogens using a quantitative, stochastic multi-criteria model, parameterized for the Netherlands. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS A risk score was based on seven criteria, reflecting assessments of the(More)
BACKGROUND The case fatality ratio (CFR), the ratio of deaths from an infectious disease to the number of cases, provides an assessment of virulence. Calculation of the ratio of the cumulative number of deaths to cases during the course of an epidemic tends to result in a biased CFR. The present study develops a simple method to obtain an unbiased estimate(More)