Epidemic dynamics and antigenic evolution in a single season of influenza A

Maciej F. Boni, Julia R. Gog, Viggo Andreasen, Marcus W. Feldman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


We use a mathematical model to study the evolution of influenza A during the epidemic dynamics of a single season. Classifying strains by their distance from the epidemic-originating strain, we show that neutral mutation yields a constant rate of antigenic evolution, even in the presence of epidemic dynamics. We introduce host immunity and viral immune escape to construct a non-neutral model. Our population dynamics can then be framed naturally in the context of population genetics, and we show that departure from neutrality is governed by the covariance between a strain's fitness and its distance from the original epidemic strain. We quantify the amount of antigenic evolution that takes place in excess of what is expected under neutrality and find that this excess amount is largest under strong host immunity and long epidemics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1307-1316
Number of pages10
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Issue number1592
StatePublished - Jun 7 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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