Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a leading worldwide cause of liver disease. Here, we use a new model of HCV spread to investigate the epidemic behavior of the virus and to estimate its basic reproductive number from gene sequence data. We find significant differences in epidemic behavior among HCV subtypes and suggest that these differences are largely the result of subtype-specific transmission patterns. Our model builds a bridge between the disciplines of population genetics and mathematical epidemiology by using pathogen gene sequences to infer the population dynamic history of an infectious disease.

Original publication

DOI

10.1126/science.1058321

Type

Journal article

Journal

Science

Publication Date

22/06/2001

Volume

292

Pages

2323 - 2325

Keywords

Endemic Diseases, Genes, Viral, Hepacivirus, Hepatitis C, Humans, Likelihood Functions, Models, Biological, Molecular Epidemiology, Phylogeny, Population Dynamics, Prevalence, Substance Abuse, Intravenous