The Kermack-McKendrick epidemic model revisited

Fred Brauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

95 Scopus citations


The Kermack-McKendrick epidemic model of 1927 is an age of infection model, that is, a model in which the infectivity of an individual depends on the time since the individual became infective. A special case, which is formulated as a two-dimensional system of ordinary differential ordinary differential equations, has often been called the Kermack-McKendrick model. One of the products of the SARS epidemic of 2002-2003 was a variety of epidemic models including general contact rates, quarantine, and isolation. These models can be viewed as age of infection epidemic models and analyzed using the approach of the full Kermack-McKendrick model. All these models share the basic properties that there is a threshold between disappearance of the disease and an epidemic outbreak, and that an epidemic will die out without infecting the entire population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-131
Number of pages13
JournalMathematical Biosciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Age of infection model
  • Epidemic
  • SARS models

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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