Journal article

Dynamics of beneficial epidemics.

Andrew Berdahl, Christa Brelsford, Caterina De Bacco, Marion Dumas, Vanessa Ferdinand, Joshua A Grochow, Laurent Hébert-Dufresne, Yoav Kallus, Christopher P Kempes, Artemy Kolchinsky, Daniel B Larremore, Eric Libby, Eleanor A Power, Caitlin A Stern, Brendan D Tracey

Sci Rep | Published : 2019


Pathogens can spread epidemically through populations. Beneficial contagions, such as viruses that enhance host survival or technological innovations that improve quality of life, also have the potential to spread epidemically. How do the dynamics of beneficial biological and social epidemics differ from those of detrimental epidemics? We investigate this question using a breadth-first modeling approach involving three distinct theoretical models. First, in the context of population genetics, we show that a horizontally-transmissible element that increases fitness, such as viral DNA, spreads superexponentially through a population, more quickly than a beneficial mutation. Second, in the cont..

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