The role of vegetables trade network in global epidemics [article]

Yong Min, Jie Chang, Xiaogang Jin, Yang Zhong, Ying Ge
2011 arXiv   pre-print
The outbreak of enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) in May 2011 warns the potential threats of the world vegetables trade network (VTN) in spreading fatal infectious diseases. The heterogeneous weight distribution and multi-scale activity of intermediary networks affects the diffusion, proliferation and extinction of epidemics. Here, we constructed a dual-weighted VTN with 118 major countries and territories from FAO 2008 statistic data about global vegetation production and trade, and
more » ... elop a reaction-diffusion model to simulate the epidemic behaviors in through VTN. We found an emerged asymmetric threshold of epidemic on VTN, in which local proliferation within nodes plays a more critical role than global diffusion in spreading of EHEC-like diseases, i.e. sufficient local proliferation is the precondition for global diffusion. We also found that a strong modularity on VTN structure, which restricts the spreading of EHEC-like diseases; however, within the communities, the diffusion is quick and easy. There is, moreover, a critical "epidemic stem", in which a serial of positive feedback loop for amplifying the proliferation and diffusion pathogens has been identified from entire VTN. Surprisingly, statistical analysis shows a well consistency between theoretical composition of stem and actual pattern of EHEC. The results provide a chance to design gradient control strategies for controlling disease global diffusion. Our analysis provided the first inspect of global epidemics mediated by trade networks for improved control and immunity strategies in the future.
arXiv:1110.1724v1 fatcat:4k2yau7ei5cixjoqprmdfiifnq