Agent-based hantavirus transmission model incorporating host behavior and viral shedding heterogeneities derived from field transmission experiments

  • Molly Kaplan School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA, USA
  • Carrie A. Manore Department of Mathematics, Center for Computational Science, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA, USA
  • Karoun H. Bagamian Department of Environmental and Global Health, Emerging Pathogens Institute, University of Florida, Gainseville, FL, USA
Keywords: Individual-based model, Sin Nombre hantavirus, deer mouse, viral shedding, direct transmission, indirect transmission


Behavioural and environmental heterogeneities among host populations can play an important role in hantavirus transmission. We designed an agent-based model to determine the relative role of direct and indirect transmission on Sin Nombre hantavirus (SNV) dynamics in deer mice, incorporating host heterogeneities. We parameterized the model to reproduce aggressive encounters, movement and excretions from field-based studies and lab experiments. Our model captured known properties of SNV spread and matched the outcomes of transmission experiments. Although the model was not fit to Rvalues, the R0 distribution from our simulations was similar to values from other hantavirus models. We also found that a small per cent of mice were responsible for a high per cent of direct transmission. Our model indicated that mouse heterogeneity and environmental contamination are both important. Model extensions can explore larger ecosystem dynamics by incorporating temporal heterogeneity, to understand how changes in host characteristics and environment influence SNV transmission.

How to Cite
Kaplan, Molly, Carrie A. Manore, and Karoun H. Bagamian. 2016. “Agent-Based Hantavirus Transmission Model Incorporating Host Behavior and Viral Shedding Heterogeneities Derived from Field Transmission Experiments”. Letters in Biomathematics 3 (1), 209–228.