Mathematical models of parasitic infections can provide useful tools for a range of endeavours, yet their full potential has not been realised. Their uses can span from parasite population biology and between- / within-host dynamics, to supporting the implementation of interventions against those species of public and animal health importance.
As stated in the Thematic Series on Elimination of Parasitic Infections, the impetus for elimination of parasites and vectors of human disease (in settings where this is deemed feasible) is gathering strength. The battle against human malaria is leading the way, as it did with one of the first mathematical models for infectious disease, that of Ross in 1911. Continuing this tradition, the Malaria Eradication Agenda has placed modelling at its core. The World Health Organization Disease Reference Group on Helminth Infections of Humans has included mathematical modelling among its key research and development priorities. In other infectious, zoonotic, and emerging diseases, mathematical modelling plays a pivotal role in capturing their spread in real-time, and provides opportune advice to policy makers, public health organizations and government bodies.
In this Series, we wish to capitalise on this momentum and bring together a wide range of articles that use mathematical and statistical methodologies to further, amongst others, our understanding of the ecology and transmission biology of parasites (whether as single species or in co-infections), the population biology of their intermediate hosts and vectors, the impact on transmission dynamics of ecological change, whether deliberate (antiparasitic and / or antivectorial) or unintended (environmental and / or climate change) and the epidemiological and evolutionary outcomes of interventions. In addition, we wish to discuss quantitatively current and future efforts towards parasite and vector control and elimination / eradication.
By providing a forum for contributions on the modelling of parasites and vectors, we hope to help fulfill the potential that the field has to offer to basic and applied scientists as well as to the managers, stake-holders and end-users of programmes aiming to control parasitic disease in a broad range of organisms.
Edited by: Professor Maria-Gloria Basáñez
Collection published: 14 May 2011
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