Host contact dynamics shapes richness and dominance of pathogen strains
F Pinotti, E Fleury, D Guillemot, P-Y Böelle, C Poletto, PLoS Computational Biology
We considered a population of individuals interacting through a time varying network. New individuals and strains continuously enter and leave the system. We explored different scenarios in terms of host contact structure and characterised the resulting pathogen ecosystem through ecological indicators. We found that contact heterogeneities reduce strain richness, i.e. the number of co-circulating strains, favouring the dominance of few strains. Our results have far-reaching consequences for multi-strain pathogens such as Staphylococcus aureus, suggesting that contact structure is an important driver of strain diversity.
Our article has been featured on the top of the journal home!