Modeling and Analysis of the Multiannual Cholera Outbreaks with Host-Pathogen Encounters

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Re-emergence of cholera threatens people's health globally. However, its periodic re-emerging outbreaks are still poorly understood. In this paper, we develop a simple ordinary differential equation (ODE) model to study the cholera outbreak cycles. Our model involves both direct (i.e. human-to-human) and indirect (i.e. environment-to-human) transmission routes, due to the multiple interactions between the human host, the pathogen, and the environment. In particular, we model the pathogen searching distance as a Poisson point process, and then formulate the host-pathogen encounter (HPE) rate. A thorough mathematical analysis is performed to investigate local and global dynamics of the model. Necessary and sufficient condition under which the backward bifurcation occurs is derived. Fold, Hopf, and Bogdanov-Takens bifurcations are studied with original model parameter values to reveal their relations with model behaviors. One- and two-dimensional bifurcation diagrams are provided to categorize model dynamics with respect to its parameter values. Analytical and numerical analyses show that our simple model is sufficient to exhibit complex epidemic patterns of cholera dynamics including bistability and annual and multiannual periodic outbreaks. Our result regarding the backward bifurcation and complex dynamics of cholera epidemics highlight the challenges in the prevention and control of the disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2050120
JournalInternational Journal of Bifurcation and Chaos
Issue number8
StatePublished - Jun 30 2020


  • Periodic outbreak of cholera
  • Poisson point process
  • bifurcation theory
  • global stability


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