Most infectious diseases, including more than half of known human pathogens, are not restricted to just one host, yet much of the mathematical modeling of infections has been limited to a single species. We investigate consequences of a single epidemic propagating in multiple species and compare and contrast it with the endemic steady state of the disease. We use the two-species susceptible-infected-recovered model to calculate the severity of postepidemic collapses in populations of two-host species as a function of their initial population sizes, the times individuals remain infectious, and the matrix of infection rates. We derive the criteria for a very large, extinction-level, population collapse in one or both of the species. The main conclusion of our study is that a single epidemic could drive a species with high mortality rate to local or even global extinction provided that it is coinfected with an abundant species. Such collapse-driven extinctions depend on factors different than those in the endemic steady state of the disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
- Statistics and Probability
- Condensed Matter Physics