Chapter 22 : Ecology Lessons

MyBook is a cheap paperback edition of the original book and will be sold at uniform, low price.

Ebook: Choose a downloadable PDF or ePub file. Chapter is a downloadable PDF file. File must be downloaded within 48 hours of purchase

Buy this Chapter
Digital (?) $7.00

Preview this chapter:
Zoom in

Ecology Lessons, Page 1 of 2

| /docserver/preview/fulltext/10.1128/9781555817442/9781555815004_Chap22-1.gif /docserver/preview/fulltext/10.1128/9781555817442/9781555815004_Chap22-2.gif


The theoretical foundations of ecology-based epidemiology were laid long ago, when W. H. Hamer established the "mass action principle" according to which the net rate of spread of an infection is proportional to the product of the densities of susceptible and infectious individuals in a population. In practical terms, however, the spectacular successes achieved by "magic bullets" (the apparent conquest of tuberculosis, for example) and vaccination (as in smallpox eradication) during the 20th century seemed to eclipse theory and ecology. Researchers have highlighted the need to use mathematical models of epidemiology in "peacetime," and their own theoretical study of the 2001 epidemic "emphasises the need to understand the contact pattern of susceptible populations before embarking on any strategy for disease control, which means that populations at risk from disease need to be characterised topographically before an outbreak occurs." The chapter goes on to talk about the United Kingdom scenario that is a threat of renewed epidemics of the very condition, measles, whose study has provided much of one's current understanding of infectious-disease dynamics.

Citation: Dixon B. 2009. Ecology Lessons, p 100-104. In Animalcules. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817442.ch22
Highlighted Text: Show | Hide
Loading full text...

Full text loading...


1. Hamer, W. H. 1906. Epidemic disease in England. Lancet i:733739.
2. Hanratty, B.,, T. Holt,, E. Duffell,, W. Patterson,, M. Ramsay,, J. M. White,, L. Jin,, and P. Litton. 2000. UK measles outbreak in non-immune anthroposophic communities: the implications for the elimination of measles from Europe. Epidemiol. Infect. 125:377383.
3. Jansen, V. A.,, N. Stollenwerk,, H. J. Jensen,, M. E. Ramsay,, W. J. Edmunds,, and C. J. Rhodes. 2003. Measles outbreaks in a population with declining vaccine uptake. Science 301:804.
4. Kermack, W. O.,, and A. G. McKendrick. 1927. A contribution to the mathematical theory of epidemics. Proc. R. Soc. A 115:700721.
5. Melville, D. S.,, and K. F. Shortridge. 2006. Spread of H5N1 avian influenza virus: an ecological conundrum. Lett. Appl. Microbiol. 42:435437.
6. Shirley, M. D.,, and S. P. Rushton. 2005. Where diseases and networks collide: lessons to be learnt from a study of the 2001 foot-and-mouth disease epidemic. Epidemiol. Infect. 133:10231032.
7. Smith, K. F.,, A. P. Dobson,, F. E. McKenzie,, L. A. Real,, D. L. Smith,, and M. L. Wilson. 2005. Ecological theory to enhance infectious disease control and public health policy. Front. Ecol. Environ. 3:2937.

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Please check the format of the address you have entered.
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error