Epidemic enhancement in partially immune populations

Juliet R.C. Pulliam, Jonathan G. Dushoff, Simon Asher Levin, Andrew P. Dobson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


We observe that a pathogen introduced into a population containing individuals with acquired immunity can result in an epidemic longer in duration and/or larger in size than if the pathogen were introduced into a naive population. We call this phenomenon "epidemic enhancement," and use simple dynamical models to show that it is a realistic scenario within the parameter ranges of many common infectious diseases. This finding implies that repeated pathogen introduction or intermediate levels of vaccine coverage can lead to pathogen persistence in populations where extinction would otherwise be expected.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere165
JournalPloS one
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 17 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'Epidemic enhancement in partially immune populations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this