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Phys Rev Lett. 2007 Oct 5;99(14):148701. Epub 2007 Oct 5.

Invasion threshold in heterogeneous metapopulation networks.

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Complex Networks Lagrange Laboratory, Institute for Scientific Interchange, Torino, Italy.


We study the dynamics of epidemic and reaction-diffusion processes in metapopulation models with heterogeneous connectivity patterns. In susceptible-infected-removed-like processes, along with the standard local epidemic threshold, the system exhibits a global invasion threshold. We provide an explicit expression of the threshold that sets a critical value of the diffusion/mobility rate below, which the epidemic is not able to spread to a macroscopic fraction of subpopulations. The invasion threshold is found to be affected by the topological fluctuations of the metapopulation network. The results presented provide a general framework for the understanding of the effect of travel restrictions in epidemic containment.

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