Do fatal infectious diseases eradicate host species?

Alex P. Farrell, James Collins, Amy L. Greer, Horst Thieme

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


In simple SI epidemic and endemic models, three classes of incidence functions are identified for their potential to be associated with host extinction: weakly upper density-dependent incidences are never associated with host extinction. Power incidences that depend on the number of susceptibles and infectives by powers strictly between 0 and 1 are associated with initial-constellation-dependent host extinction for all parameter values. Homogeneous incidences, of which frequency-dependent incidence is a very particular case, and power incidences are associated with global host extinction for certain parameter constellations and with host survival for others. Laboratory infection experiments with salamander larvae are equally well fitted by power incidences and certain upper density-dependent incidences such as the negative binomial incidence and do not rule out homogeneous incidences such as an asymmetric frequency-dependent incidence either.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2103-2164
Number of pages62
JournalJournal Of Mathematical Biology
Issue number6-7
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018


  • Host decline
  • Host extinction
  • Host persistence
  • Incidence function
  • Tiger salamanders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Applied Mathematics


Dive into the research topics of 'Do fatal infectious diseases eradicate host species?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this