We examine a generalised SIR model for the infection dynamics of four competing disease strains. This model contains four previously-studied models as special cases. The different strains interact indirectly by the mechanism of cross-immunity; individuals in the host population may become immune to infection by a particular strain even if they have only been infected with different but closely related strains. Several different models of cross-immunity are compared in the limit where the death rate is much smaller than the rate of recovery from infection. In this limit an asymptotic analysis of the dynamics of the models is possible, and we are able to compute the location and nature of the Takens-Bogdanov bifurcation associated with the presence of oscillatory dynamics observed by previous authors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)471-510
Number of pages40
JournalJournal of Mathematical Biology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2002


  • Bifurcations
  • Cross-immunity
  • Dynamics
  • Epidemiology
  • Infection
  • Multiple strains
  • Oscillations
  • Pathogen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Applied Mathematics


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