Marc Lipsitch

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The 1918 influenza pandemic killed 20-40 million people worldwide, and is seen as a worst-case scenario for pandemic planning. Like other pandemic influenza strains, the 1918 A/H1N1 strain spread extremely rapidly. A measure of transmissibility and of the stringency of control measures required to stop an epidemic is the reproductive number, which is the(More)
Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is a recently described illness of humans that has spread widely over the past 6 months. With the use of detailed epidemiologic data from Singapore and epidemic curves from other settings, we estimated the reproductive number for SARS in the absence of interventions and in the presence of control efforts. We estimate(More)
Mathematical models of transmission have become invaluable management tools in planning for the control of emerging infectious diseases. A key variable in such models is the reproductive number R. For new emerging infectious diseases, the value of the reproductive number can only be inferred indirectly from the observed exponential epidemic growth rate r.(More)
Streptococcus pneumoniae is one of the leading causes of invasive bacterial disease worldwide. Fragments of the cell wall and the cytolytic toxin pneumolysin have been shown to contribute substantially to inflammatory damage, although the interactions between pneumococcal components and host-cell structures have not been elucidated completely. Results of a(More)
Parasites have been shown to reduce host density and to induce host population extinction in some cases but not in others. Epidemiological models suggest that variable effects of parasites on individual hosts can explain this variability on the population level. Here, we aim to support this hypothesis with a specific epidemiological model using a(More)
The idea that vertical transmission of parasites selects for lower virulence is widely accepted. However, little theoretical work has considered the evolution of virulence for parasites with mixed horizontal plus vertical transmission. Many human, animal, and plant parasites are transmitted both vertically and horizontally, and some horizontal transmission(More)
Although anticapsular antibodies confer serotype-specific immunity to pneumococci, children increase their ability to clear colonization before these antibodies appear, suggesting involvement of other mechanisms. We previously reported that intranasal immunization of mice with pneumococci confers CD4+ T cell-dependent, antibody- and serotype-independent(More)
Malaria epidemics due to Plasmodium falciparum are reported frequently in the East African highlands with high case fatality rates. There have been formal attempts to predict epidemics by the use of climatic variables that are predictors of transmission potential. However, little consensus has emerged about the relative importance and predictive value of(More)
Vaccination with heptavalent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) has significantly reduced the burden of pneumococcal disease and has had an important public health benefit. Because this vaccine targets only seven of the more than 92 pneumococcal serotypes, concerns have been raised that non-vaccine serotypes (NVTs) could increase in prevalence and reduce(More)
Despite the near-ubiquity of plasmids in bacterial populations and the profound contribution of infectious gene transfer to the adaptation and evolution of bacteria, the mechanisms responsible for the maintenance of plasmids in bacterial populations are poorly understood. In this article, we address the question of how plasmids manage to persist over(More)