Honors College Thesis

 

A Vector–Host Model for Coinfection by Barley/Cereal Yellow Dwarf Viruses Public

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  • Barley and cereal yellow dwarf viruses (B/CYDV) are a suite of aphid-vectored pathogens that affect diverse host communities, including economically important crops. Coinfection of a single host by multiple strains of B/CYDV can result in elevated virulence, incidence, and transmission rates. We develop a model for a single host, two pathogen strains, and n vector species, modeled by a system of nonlinear ordinary differential equations. A single parameter describes the degree of relatedness of the strains and the amount of cross-protection between them. We compute the basic and type reproduction numbers for the model and analytically prove the (conditional) stability of the disease-free equilibrium. We demonstrate numerically that, although the basic reproduction number describes stability of the disease-free equilibrium, the type reproduction numbers better describe the individual behavior of each strain and the dynamics of coinfection. We then conduct a sensitivity analysis on the components of the endemic equilibrium for two different vector growth functions. Our results indicate that the disease transmission rates and the vector birth and mortality rates are the most influential parameters for the equilibrium prevalences of infection and coinfection.
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