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Trends Ecol Evol. 1997 Oct;12(10):395-9.

(Meta)population dynamics of infectious diseases.

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Zoology Dept, Cambridge University, Downing Street, Cambridge, UK CB2 3EJ.


The metapopulation concept provides a very powerful tool for analysing the persistence of spatially-disaggregated populations, in terms of a balance between local extinction and colonization. Exactly the same approach has been developed by epidemiologists, in order to understand patterns of diseases persistence. There is great scope for further cross-fertilization between areas. Recent work on the spatitemporal dynamics of measles illustrates that the large datasets and rich modelling literature on many infectious diseases offer great potential for developing and testing ideas about metapopulations.

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