The dynamics of two viral infections in a single host population with applications to hantavirus

Linda J.S. Allen, Michel Langlais, Carleton J. Phillips

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


An SI epidemic model for a host with two viral infections circulating within the population is developed, analyzed, and numerically simulated. The model is a system of four differential equations which includes a state for susceptible individuals, two states for individuals infected with a single virus, one which is vertically transmitted and the other which is horizontally transmitted, and a fourth state for individuals infected with both viruses. A general growth function with density-dependent mortality is assumed. A special case of this model, where there is no coinfection and total cross immunity, is thoroughly analyzed. Several threshold values are defined which determine establishment of the disease and persistence at equilibrium for one or both of the infections within the host population. The model has applications to a hantavirus and an arenavirus that infect cotton rats. The hantavirus is transmitted horizontally whereas the arenavirus is transmitted vertically. It is shown through analysis and numerical simulations that both diseases can be maintained within a single host population, where individuals can be either infected with both viruses or with a single virus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-217
Number of pages27
JournalMathematical Biosciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 2003


  • Coinfection
  • Hantavirus
  • Partial immunity
  • SI epidemic model
  • Vertical transmission


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