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Journal of Biological Dynamics

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This study presents a continuous-time model for the sylvatic transmission dynamics of two strains of Trypanosoma cruzi enzootic in North America, in order to study the role that adaptations of each strain to distinct modes of transmission (classical stercorarian transmission on the one hand, and vertical and oral transmission on the other) may play in the competition between the two strains. A deterministic model incorporating contact process saturation predicts competitive exclusion, and reproductive numbers for the infection provide a framework for evaluating the competition in terms of adaptive trade-off between distinct transmission modes. Results highlight the importance of oral transmission in mediating the competition between horizontal (stercorarian) and vertical transmission; its presence as a competing contact process advantages vertical transmission even without adaptation to oral transmission, but such adaptation appears necessary to explain the persistence of (vertically-adapted) T. cruzi IV in raccoons and woodrats in the southeastern United States.


Mathematics | Physical Sciences and Mathematics

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This work was partially supported by a 2008 Norman Hackerman Advanced Research Program grant, and by the National Science Foundation under Grant DMS-1020880l; European Union Seventh Framework Programme [FP7/2007–2011] under grant agreement no. 219266. Through MTBI, this research has been partially supported by grants from the National Security Agency, the National Science Foundation, the T Division of Los Alamos National Lab (LANL), the Sloan Foundation, and the Office of the Provost of Arizona State University

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