An apparent paradox of horizontal and vertical disease transmission

Stanley H. Faeth, Karl P. Hadeler, Horst R. Thieme

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The question as to how the ratio of horizontal to vertical transmission depends on the coefficient of horizontal transmission is investigated in host–parasite models with one or two parasite strains. In an apparent paradox, this ratio decreases as the coefficient is increased provided that the ratio is taken at the equilibrium at which both host and parasite persist. Moreover, a completely vertically transmitted parasite strain that would go extinct on its own can coexist with a more harmful horizontally transmitted strain by protecting the host against it.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-62
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of biological dynamics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007


  • Coexistence
  • Evolution of virulence
  • Persistence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology


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