Analysis of SIR epidemic models with nonlinear incidence rate and treatment

Zhixing Hu, Wanbiao Ma, Shigui Ruan

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81 Scopus citations


This paper deals with the nonlinear dynamics of a susceptible-infectious-recovered (SIR) epidemic model with nonlinear incidence rate, vertical transmission, vaccination for the newborns of susceptible and recovered individuals, and the capacity of treatment. It is assumed that the treatment rate is proportional to the number of infectives when it is below the capacity and constant when the number of infectives reaches the capacity. Under some conditions, it is shown that there exists a backward bifurcation from an endemic equilibrium, which implies that the disease-free equilibrium coexists with an endemic equilibrium. In such a case, reducing the basic reproduction number less than unity is not enough to control and eradicate the disease, extra measures are needed to ensure that the solutions approach the disease-free equilibrium. When the basic reproduction number is greater than unity, the model can have multiple endemic equilibria due to the effect of treatment, vaccination and other parameters. The existence and stability of the endemic equilibria of the model are analyzed and sufficient conditions on the existence and stability of a limit cycle are obtained. Numerical simulations are presented to illustrate the analytical results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12-20
Number of pages9
JournalMathematical Biosciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2012


  • Backward bifurcation
  • Epidemic model
  • Nonlinear incidence rate
  • Stability
  • Treatment rate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Applied Mathematics


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