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ISRN Biomathematics
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 802450, 18 pages
Research Article

Modeling Gender-Structured Wildlife Diseases with Harvesting: Chronic Wasting Disease as an Example

1Department of Mathematics, The University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1N 6N5
2Department of Mathematics and Faculty of Medicine, The University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1N 6N5

Received 29 May 2012; Accepted 18 July 2012

Academic Editors: D. Bhattacharyya and G. Bocharov

Copyright © 2012 Mo'tassem Al-Arydah et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a prion infectious disease that affects members of the deer family in North America. Concerns about the economic consequences of the presence of CWD have led management agencies to seek effective strategies to control CWD distribution and prevalence. Current mathematical models are either based on complex simulations or overly simplified compartmental models. We develop a mathematical model that includes gender structure to describe CWD in a logistically growing population. The model includes harvesting as a management strategy for the disease. We determine the stability conditions of the disease-free equilibrium for the model and calculate the basic reproduction number. We find an optimum interval of harvesting: with too little harvesting, the disease persists, whereas too much harvesting results in extinction of the population. A sensitivity analysis shows that the disease threshold is more sensitive to female than male harvesting and that harvesting has the greatest effect on the basic reproduction number. However, while harvesting may be a way to control CWD, the range of admissible harvesting rates may be very narrow, depending on other parameters.