Invasion threshold in heterogeneous metapopulation networks

Phys Rev Lett. 2007 Oct 5;99(14):148701. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.99.148701. Epub 2007 Oct 5.


We study the dynamics of epidemic and reaction-diffusion processes in metapopulation models with heterogeneous connectivity patterns. In susceptible-infected-removed-like processes, along with the standard local epidemic threshold, the system exhibits a global invasion threshold. We provide an explicit expression of the threshold that sets a critical value of the diffusion/mobility rate below, which the epidemic is not able to spread to a macroscopic fraction of subpopulations. The invasion threshold is found to be affected by the topological fluctuations of the metapopulation network. The results presented provide a general framework for the understanding of the effect of travel restrictions in epidemic containment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Communicable Diseases / transmission*
  • Disease Outbreaks / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological*
  • Population Dynamics*
  • Travel