One of the environments for microbial life lies within us. At present we are working on the dynamics of oral-fecal diseases like cholera whose mode of infection often involves a contaminated reservoir in addition to or instead of direct person-person contact. The study of infectious diseases typically has presumed the importance of direct contact with an infected individual. However, there are many diseases for which pathogens can exist in a free-living stage, and so, contact depends on (i) contact with an infected reservoir; (ii) the relative concentration of the pathogen with respect to the minimal dosage for infection. Developing SIR type models for these systems is one of our current goals. We are also collaborating with the CDC to test epidemiological models of other oral-fecal pathogens. Some projects we are currently working on include:

  • Indirectly transmitted infectious disease dynamics
  • Modeling the spread of shigella
  • COVID-19