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Parasitology. 2012 Dec;139(14):1888-98. doi: 10.1017/S0031182012000431. Epub 2012 Apr 13.

The population ecology of infectious diseases: pertussis in Thailand as a case study.

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Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA.


Many of the fundamental concepts in studying infectious diseases are rooted in population ecology. We describe the importance of population ecology in exploring central issues in infectious disease research including identifying the drivers and dynamics of host-pathogen interactions and pathogen persistence, and evaluating the success of public health policies. The use of ecological concepts in infectious disease research is demonstrated with simple theoretical examples in addition to an analysis of case notification data of pertussis, a childhood respiratory disease, in Thailand as a case study. We stress that further integration of these fields will have significant impacts in infectious diseases research.

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