Document Type


Date of Degree


Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Applied Mathematical and Computational Sciences

First Advisor

Hethcote, Herbert W

Second Advisor

Li, Tong

First Committee Member

Mitchell, Colleen

Second Committee Member

Darcy, Isabel

Third Committee Member

Pendergast, Jane


Rotavirus diarrhea causes a disproportionate amount of the world's childhood mortality. Approximately 611,000 children die each year due to complications of rotavirus infections. In this study we evaluate rotavirus vaccination using four different methods. We look at the epidemiological history of the disease and vaccination against the disease, then we evaluate the effectiveness of vaccination first using a cost-benefit analysis, then using an ordinary differential equations based model, and last through computer simulations in Matlab.

We do a traditional cost-benefit analysis as suggested by the Public Health Service of the United States to evaluate the costs and benefits of implementing a rotavirus vaccination program in Egypt with the RotaRix vaccine. Our results show that given the current standards of care in Egypt, it would be more cost-beneficial for Egypt not to use the rotavirus vaccine.

We formulate a model of the spread of rotavirus diarrhea based on a continuous time ordinary differential equations model of two viral strains of influenza. We expand this influenza model to include the case of co-infection. We further expand the original model to explore the effects of vaccination.

We used computer simulations to further analyze the effect of vaccination as a control method. These simulations show that the spread of the disease is highly sensitive to the levels of cross-immunity between the strains, and the level of vaccination in the population.

We found that the dynamics observed in the new model are similar to the dynamics observed in the original model. We found the minimum levels of vaccination necessary in this model to eradicate severe rotavirus disease and minimum levels of cross-immunity between the strains


rotavirus vaccine coinfection cost benefit


ix, 110 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 105-110).


Copyright 2008 Omayra Y Ortega