Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 136
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Aydogmus, Ozgur 2016. On extinction time of a generalized endemic chain-binomial model. Mathematical Biosciences, Vol. 279, p. 38.

    Clopton, Richard E. Steele, Shelby M. and Clopton, Debra T. 2016. Environmental Persistence and Infectivity of Oocysts of Two Species of Gregarines,Blabericola migratorandBlabericola cubensis(Apicomplexa: Eugregarinida: Blabericolidae), Parasitizing Blaberid Cockroaches (Dictyoptera: Blaberidae). Journal of Parasitology, Vol. 102, Issue. 2, p. 169.

    Kaddar, Abdelilah Elkhaiar, Soufiane and Eladnani, Fatiha 2016. Global Asymptotic Stability of a Generalized SEIRS Epidemic Model. Differential Equations and Dynamical Systems,

    Keiser, Carl N. Pinter-Wollman, Noa Augustine, David A. Ziemba, Michael J. Hao, Lingran Lawrence, Jeffrey G. and Pruitt, Jonathan N. 2016. Individual differences in boldness influence patterns of social interactions and the transmission of cuticular bacteria among group-mates. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Vol. 283, Issue. 1829, p. 20160457.

    McVinish, R. Pollett, P.K. and Shausan, A. 2016. Limiting the spread of disease through altered migration patterns. Journal of Theoretical Biology, Vol. 393, p. 60.

    Moualeu, D.P. Nana Yakam, A. Bowong, S. and Temgoua, A. 2016. Analysis of a tuberculosis model with undetected and lost-sight cases. Communications in Nonlinear Science and Numerical Simulation, Vol. 41, p. 48.

    Perez-Heydrich, Carolina Loughry, W. J. Anderson, Corey Devin and Oli, Madan K. 2016. PATTERNS OFMYCOBACTERIUM LEPRAEINFECTION IN WILD NINE-BANDED ARMADILLOS (DASYPUS NOVEMCINCTUS) IN MISSISSIPPI, USA. Journal of Wildlife Diseases, Vol. 52, Issue. 3, p. 524.

    Salah, Abdirahman Robertson, Ian and Mohamed, Abdullahi Sheikh 2016. Modelling the potential benefits of different strategies to control infection with Trypanosoma evansi in camels in Somaliland. Tropical Animal Health and Production, Vol. 48, Issue. 1, p. 199.

    Almberg, E. S. Cross, P. C. Dobson, A. P. Smith, D. W. Metz, M. C. Stahler, D. R. Hudson, P. J. and Festa-Bianchet, Marco 2015. Social living mitigates the costs of a chronic illness in a cooperative carnivore. Ecology Letters, Vol. 18, Issue. 7, p. 660.

    Hayman, D. T. S. 2015. Biannual birth pulses allow filoviruses to persist in bat populations. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Vol. 282, Issue. 1803, p. 20142591.

    Horan, Richard D. Fenichel, Eli P. Finnoff, David and Wolf, Christopher A. 2015. Managing dynamic epidemiological risks through trade. Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Vol. 53, p. 192.

    Iritani, Ryosuke 2015. How parasite-mediated costs drive the evolution of disease state-dependent dispersal. Ecological Complexity, Vol. 21, p. 1.

    Kolman, Jon A. Clopton, Richard E. and Clopton, Debra T. 2015. Effects of Developmental Temperature on Gametocysts and Oocysts of Two Species of GregarinesBlabericola migratorandBlabericola cubensis(Apicomplexa: Eugregarinida: Blabericolidae) Parasitizing Blaberid Cockroaches (Dictyoptera: Blaberidae). Journal of Parasitology, Vol. 101, Issue. 6, p. 651.

    Lanzas, Cristina and Chen, Shi 2015. Complex system modelling for veterinary epidemiology. Preventive Veterinary Medicine, Vol. 118, Issue. 2-3, p. 207.

    Lelu, Maud Muñoz-Zanzi, Claudia Higgins, Brooke and Galloway, Renee 2015. Seroepidemiology of leptospirosis in dogs from rural and slum communities of Los Rios Region, Chile. BMC Veterinary Research, Vol. 11, Issue. 1, p. 31.

    Marvá, Marcos Venturino, Ezio and Bravo de la Parra, Rafael 2015. A Time Scales Approach to Coinfection by Opportunistic Diseases. Journal of Applied Mathematics, Vol. 2015, p. 1.

    Moualeu, D.P. Weiser, M. Ehrig, R. and Deuflhard, P. 2015. Optimal control for a tuberculosis model with undetected cases in Cameroon. Communications in Nonlinear Science and Numerical Simulation, Vol. 20, Issue. 3, p. 986.

    Pedersen, Amy B. and Fenton, Andy 2015. The role of antiparasite treatment experiments in assessing the impact of parasites on wildlife. Trends in Parasitology, Vol. 31, Issue. 5, p. 200.

    Pomeroy, L. W. Bansal, S. Tildesley, M. Moreno-Torres, K. I. Moritz, M. Xiao, N. Carpenter, T. E. and Garabed, R. B. 2015. Data-Driven Models of Foot-and-Mouth Disease Dynamics: A Review. Transboundary and Emerging Diseases, p. n/a.

    Sanchez, Jessica N. and Hudgens, Brian R. 2015. Interactions between density, home range behaviors, and contact rates in the Channel Island fox (Urocyon littoralis). Ecology and Evolution, Vol. 5, Issue. 12, p. 2466.


A clarification of transmission terms in host-microparasite models: numbers, densities and areas

  • M. BEGON (a1), M. BENNETT (a2), R. G. BOWERS (a3), N. P. FRENCH (a2), S. M. HAZEL (a2) and J. TURNER (a2)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 September 2002

Transmission is the driving force in the dynamics of any infectious disease. A crucial element in understanding disease dynamics, therefore, is the ‘transmission term’ describing the rate at which susceptible hosts are ‘converted’ into infected hosts by their contact with infectious material. Recently, the conventional form of this term has been increasingly questioned, and new terminologies and conventions have been proposed. Here, therefore, we review the derivation of transmission terms, explain the basis of confusion, and provide clarification. The root of the problem has been a failure to include explicit consideration of the area occupied by a host population, alongside both the number of infectious hosts and their density within the population. We argue that the terms ‘density-dependent transmission’ and ‘frequency-dependent transmission’ remain valid and useful (though a ‘fuller’ transmission term for the former is identified), but that the terms ‘mass action’, ‘true mass action’ and ‘pseudo mass action’ are all unhelpful and should be dropped. Also, contrary to what has often been assumed, the distinction between homogeneous and heterogeneous mixing in a host population is orthogonal to the distinction between density- and frequency-dependent transmission modes.

Corresponding author
Author for correspondence: School of Biological Sciences, Nicholson Building, The University of Liverpool, Liverpool L69 3GS, UK.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Epidemiology & Infection
  • ISSN: 0950-2688
  • EISSN: 1469-4409
  • URL: /core/journals/epidemiology-and-infection
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *