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Simulated Epidemics in an Empirical Spatiotemporal Network of 50,185 Sexual Contacts
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2011 (English)In: PloS Computational Biology, ISSN 1553-734X, E-ISSN 1553-7358, Vol. 7, no 3, e1001109- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Sexual contact patterns, both in their temporal and network structure, can influence the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STI). Most previous literature has focused on effects of network topology; few studies have addressed the role of temporal structure. We simulate disease spread using SI and SIR models on an empirical temporal network of sexual contacts in high-end prostitution. We compare these results with several other approaches, including randomization of the data, classic mean-field approaches, and static network simulations. We observe that epidemic dynamics in this contact structure have well-defined, rather high epidemic thresholds. Temporal effects create a broad distribution of outbreak sizes, even if the per-contact transmission probability is taken to its hypothetical maximum of 100%. In general, we conclude that the temporal correlations of our network accelerate outbreaks, especially in the early phase of the epidemics, while the network topology (apart from the contact-rate distribution) slows them down. We find that the temporal correlations of sexual contacts can significantly change simulated outbreaks in a large empirical sexual network. Thus, temporal structures are needed alongside network topology to fully understand the spread of STIs. On a side note, our simulations further suggest that the specific type of commercial sex we investigate is not a reservoir of major importance for HIV.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 7, no 3, e1001109- p.
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URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-69437DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1001109ISI: 000288995500016OAI: diva2:478211
authorCount :3Available from: 2012-01-16 Created: 2012-01-12 Last updated: 2012-01-16Bibliographically approved

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Liljeros, Fredrik
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