A spatially aggregated disease/host model for bovine Tb in New Zealand possum populations

Deterministic disease/host models based on differential equations, with and without age-structure, are used to aid understanding of the epidemiology of bovine Tb in New Zealand’s possum Trichosurus vulpecula populations. The intrinsic rate of increase for possums is calculated to be 0 multiplied by 2-0 multiplied by 3 year super(-1), density dependence is associated more with mortality than recruitment and affects all age-classes. Bovine Tb in possums is characterized by low prevalence, around 5%, little effect on host density but moderately rapid dynamics. Its behaviour cannot be accounted for by the classic models which assume homogenous mixing. In these models low prevalence in invariably associated either with a significant reduction in host density or extremely slow rates of change of the disease.

Author N. D. Barlow
Year 1991
Secondary title Journal of Applied Ecology
Volume 28
Number 3
Pages 777-793
Region NZ