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Sexually transmitted diseases

Epidemic cycling and immunity

Are syphilis epidemics caused by external factors such as human sexual behaviour, or are factors intrinsic to the pathogen more important? Comparing the dynamics of syphilis and gonorrhoea provides some clues.

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Figure 1: The impact of immunity on the dynamics of epidemics.


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Grenfell, B., Bjørnstad, O. Epidemic cycling and immunity. Nature 433, 366–367 (2005).

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