Models for the spread and persistence of hantavirus infection in rodents with direct and indirect transmission

Curtis L. Wesley, Linda J.S. Allen, Michel Langlais

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Hantavirus, a zoonotic disease carried by wild rodents, is spread among rodents via direct contact and indirectly via infected rodent excreta in the soil. Spillover to humans is primarily via the indirect route through inhalation of aerosolized viral particles. Rodent-hantavirus models that include direct and indirect transmission and periodically varying demographic and epidemiological parameters are studied in this investigation. Two models are analyzed, a nonautonomous system of differential equations with time-periodic coefficients and an autonomous system, where the coefficients are taken to be the time-average. In the nonautonomous system, births, deaths, transmission rates and viral decay rates are assumed to be periodic. For both models, the basic reproduction numbers are calculated. The models are applied to two rodent populations, reservoirs for a New World and for an Old World hantavirus. The numerical examples show that periodically varying demographic and epidemiological parameters may substantially increase the basic reproduction number. Also, large variations in the viral decay rate in the environment coupled with an outbreak in rodent populations may lead to spillover infection in humans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-211
Number of pages17
JournalMathematical Biosciences and Engineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010



  • Basic reproduction number
  • Hantavirus
  • Nonautonomous
  • Periodic solutions

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