The effect of preferential mixing on the growth of an epidemic

Ian C. Marschner*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


The spread of infection in a community stratified into classes, where individuals have a preference for either within- or between-class contact, is discussed. The effect of such classification is assessed through the comparison of heterogeneous epidemic models with corresponding homogeneous models. Stratification of the community is modeled via a multitype branching process approximation to the epidemic. This allows us to conveniently study its effect through such quantities as the epidemic threshold parameter and the probability of a major outbreak. Attention is focused on the model of May and Anderson; however, a number of other heterogeneous structures reflecting preferential mixing are also studied.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-67
Number of pages29
JournalMathematical Biosciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes


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