Mathematical tools for planning effective intervention scenarios for sexually transmitted diseases

Otso T. Ovaskainen, Bryan T. Grenfell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: We studied the dynamics of sexually transmitted diseases in structured populations, deriving analogies from the theory of metapopulations. Goal: The goal was to study the impact of potential interventions, such as reducing the probability of transmission (e.g., by condom use), reducing the duration of infectiousness (e.g., by early diagnosis and treatment), or reducing the number of new contacts. Study Design: A structured SIS model was used for the study. Results: We extended the concept of core groups to the concept of nodal epidemiologic contribution (NEC) by considering the contribution that an individual in a particular (social, spatial, or other such) group makes to a target quantity, such as the threshold condition for disease persistence, the equilibrium prevalence, or the number of disease transmissions in the long term. The measures for NEC derived here are analogous to patch values in metapopulation theory, which measure the contributions of particular habitat patches to various aspects of metapopulation dynamics. Conclusion: Our results highlight that intervention measures should be targeted especially promptly if the goal is the complete eradication of the disease, as the variance in the contributions made by the individuals is the highest for this case.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)388-394
Number of pages7
JournalSexually Transmitted Diseases
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2003
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Dermatology


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