A realistic two-strain model for MERS-CoV infection uncovers the high risk for epidemic propagation

by Tridip Sardar, Indrajit Ghosh, Xavier Rod ó, Joydev Chattopadhyay Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) causes severe acute respiratory illness with a case fatality rate (CFR) of 35,5%. The highest number of MERS-CoV cases are from Saudi-Arabia, the major worldwide hotspot for this disease. In the absence of neither effective treatment nor a re ady-to-use vaccine and with yet an incomplete understanding of its epidemiological cycle, prevention and containment measures can be derived from mathematical models of disease epidemiology. We constructed 2-strain models to predict past outbreaks in the interval 2012–2016 and derive key epidemiol ogical information for Macca, Madina and Riyadh. We approached variability in infection through three different disease incidence functions capturing social behavior in response to an epidemic (e.g. Bilinear, BL; Non-monotone, NM; and Saturated, SAT models). The best model combination successfully a nticipated the total number of MERS-CoV clinical cases for the 2015–2016 season and accurately predicted both the number of cases at the peak of seasonal incidence and the overall shape of the epidemic cycle. The evolution in the basic reproduction number (R0) warns that MERS-CoV may easily take an epidemic form. The best model correctly captures this feature, indicating a high epidemic risk (1 ≤R0≤2,5) in Riyadh and Macca and confirming the alleged co-circulation of more than one strain. Accurate pre...
Source: PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases - Category: Tropical Medicine Authors: Source Type: research

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