A stochastic model for the evolution of the influenza virus

J. T. Cox, R. B. Schinazi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Consider a birth and death chain to model the number of types of a given virus. Each type gives birth to a new type at rate λ and dies at rate 1. Each type is also assigned a fitness. When a death occurs either the least fit type dies (with probability 1-r) or we kill a type at random (with probability r). We show that this random killing has a large effect (for any r > 0) on the behavior of the model when λ < 1. The behavior of the model with r > 0 and λ < 1 is consistent with features of the phylogenetic tree of influenza.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-166
Number of pages12
JournalMarkov Processes and Related Fields
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2014


  • Influenza
  • Mutation
  • Phylogenetic tree
  • Stochastic model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Applied Mathematics


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