A two-species stage-structured model for West Nile virus transmission
Keywords:Epidemiology, Vector-borne disease, Ordinary differential equation, Heterogeneity
We develop a host-vector model of West Nile virus (WNV) transmission that incorporates multiple avian host species as well as host stage-structure (juvenile and adult stages), allowing for both species-specific and stage-specific biting rates of vectors on hosts. We use this ordinary differential equation model to explore WNV transmission dynamics that occur between vectors and multiple structured host populations as a result of heterogeneous biting rates on species and/or life stages. Our analysis shows that increased exposure of juvenile hosts generally results in larger outbreaks of WNV infectious vectors when compared to differential host species exposure. We also find that increased juvenile exposure is an important mechanism for determining the effect of species diversity on the disease risk of a community.