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Chemostats and epidemics: Competition for nutrients/hosts

Hal L. Smith Horst R. Thieme

*Corresponding author:  

MBE2013,5&6,1635doi:10.3934/mbe.2013.10.1635

In a chemostat, several species compete for the same nutrient, whilein an epidemic, several strains of the same pathogen may competefor the same susceptible hosts. As winner, chemostat models predict the specieswith the lowest break-even concentration, while epidemicmodels predict the strain with the largest basic reproduction number.We show that these predictions amount to the same if the per capitafunctional responses of consumer species to the nutrient concentration or ofinfective individuals to the density of susceptibles are proportional to eachother but that they are different if the functional responses are nonproportional.In the second case, the correct prediction is given by the break-even concentrations.In the case of nonproportional functional responses, we add a class for which the prediction does not only rely on local stability and instability of one-species (strain) equilibriabut on the global outcome of the competition. We also review some results fornonautonomous models.

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Article ID   1551-0018_2013_5-6_1635
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