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Stochastic modelling of the invasion process of nematodes in fly larvae

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Stochastic models based on Markov birth processes are constructed to describe the process of invasion of a fly larva by entomopathogenic nematodes. Various forms for the birth (invasion) rates are proposed. These models are then fitted to data sets describing the observed numbers of nematodes that have invaded a fly larva after a fixed period of time. Non-linear birth-rates are required to achieve good fits to these data, with their precise form leading to different patterns of invasion being identified for three populations of nematodes considered. One of these (Nemasys) showed the greatest propensity for invasion. This form of modelling may be useful more generally for analysing data that show variation which is different from that expected from a binomial distribution.

Keywords: Distribution of number of invasions; Extrabinomial variation; Markov birth processes; Non-linear birth-rates; Parasite invasion process

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia 2: Horticulture Research International, Wellesbourne, UK

Publication date: January 1, 1999


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