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Mathematical models for parasites and vectors

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

View all collections published in Parasites & Vectors

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  1. Content type: Research

    The pork tapeworm, Taenia solium, and associated human infections, taeniasis, cysticercosis and neurocysticercosis, are serious public health problems, especially in developing countries. The World Health Organiz...

    Authors: Peter Winskill, Wendy E. Harrison, Michael D. French, Matthew A. Dixon, Bernadette Abela-Ridder and María-Gloria Basáñez

    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2017 10:73

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  2. Content type: Research

    Understanding whether schistosomiasis control programmes are on course to control morbidity and potentially switch towards elimination interventions would benefit from user-friendly quantitative tools that fac...

    Authors: Arminder Deol, Joanne P. Webster, Martin Walker, Maria-Gloria Basáñez, T. Déirdre Hollingsworth, Fiona M. Fleming, Antonio Montresor and Michael D. French

    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2016 9:543

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  3. Content type: Research

    The African Programme for Onchocerciasis Control has proposed provisional thresholds for the prevalence of microfilariae in humans and of L3 larvae in blackflies, below which mass drug administration (MDA) wit...

    Authors: Christian Bottomley, Valerie Isham, Sarai Vivas-Martínez, Annette C. Kuesel, Simon K. Attah, Nicholas O. Opoku, Sara Lustigman, Martin Walker and Maria-Gloria Basáñez

    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2016 9:343

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  4. Content type: Research

    Brucella melitensis causes production losses in ruminants and febrile disease in humans in Africa, Central Asia, the Middle East and elsewhere. Although traditionally understood to aff...

    Authors: Wendy Beauvais, Imadidden Musallam and Javier Guitian

    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2016 9:55

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  5. Content type: Research

    The clinical outcomes associated with Chagas disease remain poorly understood. In addition to the burden of morbidity, the burden of mortality due to Trypanosoma cruzi infection can be substantial, yet its quanti...

    Authors: Zulma M. Cucunubá, Omolade Okuwoga, María-Gloria Basáñez and Pierre Nouvellet

    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2016 9:42

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  6. Content type: Research

    By 2020, the global health community aims to control and eliminate human helminthiases, including schistosomiasis in selected African countries, principally by preventive chemotherapy (PCT) through mass drug a...

    Authors: Martin Walker, Tarub S. Mabud, Piero L. Olliaro, Jean T. Coulibaly, Charles H. King, Giovanna Raso, Alexandra U. Scherrer, J. Russell Stothard, José Carlos Sousa-Figueiredo, Katarina Stete, Jürg Utzinger and Maria-Gloria Basáñez

    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2016 9:41

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  7. Content type: Research

    The WHO treatment guidelines for the soil-transmitted helminths (STH) focus on targeting children for the control of morbidity induced by heavy infections. However, unlike the other STHs, the majority of hookw...

    Authors: Hugo C. Turner, James E. Truscott, Alison A. Bettis, Kathryn V. Shuford, Julia C. Dunn, T. Déirdre Hollingsworth, Simon J. Brooker and Roy M. Anderson

    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2015 8:570

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  8. Content type: Research

    The last decade has seen an expansion of national schistosomiasis control programmes in Africa based on large-scale preventative chemotherapy. In many areas this has resulted in considerable reductions in infe...

    Authors: Michael D. French, Thomas S. Churcher, Joanne P. Webster, Fiona M. Fleming, Alan Fenwick, Narcis B. Kabatereine, Moussa Sacko, Amadou Garba, Seydou Toure, Ursuline Nyandindi, James Mwansa, Lynsey Blair, Elisa Bosqué-Oliva and Maria-Gloria Basáñez

    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2015 8:558

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  9. Content type: Research

    Landscape modifications, urbanization or changes of use of rural-agricultural areas can create more favourable conditions for certain mosquito species and therefore indirectly cause nuisance problems for human...

    Authors: Adolfo Ibañez-Justicia and Daniela Cianci

    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2015 8:258

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  10. Content type: Research

    Spurred by success in several foci, onchocerciasis control policy in Africa has shifted from morbidity control to elimination of infection. Clinical trials have demonstrated that moxidectin is substantially mo...

    Authors: Hugo C Turner, Martin Walker, Simon K Attah, Nicholas O Opoku, Kwablah Awadzi, Annette C Kuesel and María-Gloria Basáñez

    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2015 8:167

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  11. Content type: Research

    Triatoma virus (TrV) is the only entomopathogenous virus identified in triatomines. We estimated the potential geographic distribution of triatomine species naturally infected by TrV, using rem...

    Authors: Soledad Ceccarelli, Agustín Balsalobre, María Laura Susevich, María Gabriela Echeverria, David Eladio Gorla and Gerardo Aníbal Marti

    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2015 8:153

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  12. Content type: Research

    To reveal the spatio-temporal distribution of malaria vectors in the national malaria surveillance sites from 2005 to 2010 and provide reference for the current National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP) in...

    Authors: Ji-Xia Huang, Zhi-Gui Xia, Shui-Sen Zhou, Xiao-Jun Pu, Mao-Gui Hu, Da-Cang Huang, Zhou-Peng Ren, Shao-Sen Zhang, Man-ni Yang, Duo-Quan Wang and Jin-Feng Wang

    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2015 8:146

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  13. Content type: Research

    Quantification of malaria heterogeneity is very challenging, partly because of the underlying characteristics of mosquitoes and also because malaria is an environmentally driven disease. Furthermore, in order ...

    Authors: Eric Diboulo, Ali Sié, Diallo A Diadier, Dimitrios A Karagiannis Voules, Yazoume Yé and Penelope Vounatsou

    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2015 8:118

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  14. Content type: Research

    Freshwater snails are intermediate hosts for a number of trematodes of which some are of medical and veterinary importance. The trematodes rely on specific species of snails to complete their life cycle; hence...

    Authors: Ulrik B Pedersen, Martin Stendel, Nicholas Midzi, Takafira Mduluza, White Soko, Anna-Sofie Stensgaard, Birgitte J Vennervald, Samson Mukaratirwa and Thomas K Kristensen

    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2014 7:536

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  15. Content type: Research

    Marching towards the elimination of schistosomiasis in China, both the incidence and prevalence have witnessed profound decline over the past decades, with the strategy shifting from morbidity control to trans...

    Authors: Feng-hua Gao, Eniola Michael Abe, Shi-zhu Li, Li-juan Zhang, Jia-Chang He, Shi-qing Zhang, Tian-ping Wang, Xiao-nong Zhou and Jing Gao

    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2014 7:578

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  16. Content type: Research

    Since the 1980s, populations of the Asian tiger mosquito Aedes albopictus have become established in south-eastern, eastern and central United States, extending to approximately 40°N. Ae. albopictus is a vector o...

    Authors: Nicholas H Ogden, Radojević Milka, Cyril Caminade and Philippe Gachon

    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2014 7:532

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  17. Content type: Research

    In Brazil, preventive chemotherapy targeting soil-transmitted helminthiasis is being scaled-up. Hence, spatially explicit estimates of infection risks providing information about the current situation are need...

    Authors: Frédérique Chammartin, Luiz H Guimarães, Ronaldo GC Scholte, Mara E Bavia, Jürg Utzinger and Penelope Vounatsou

    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2014 7:440

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  18. Content type: Meeting report

    The Companion Animal Parasite Council hosted a meeting to identify quantifiable factors that can influence the prevalence of tick-borne disease agents among dogs in North America. This report summarizes the ap...

    Authors: Roger W Stich, Byron L Blagburn, Dwight D Bowman, Christopher Carpenter, M Roberto Cortinas, Sidney A Ewing, Desmond Foley, Janet E Foley, Holly Gaff, Graham J Hickling, R Ryan Lash, Susan E Little, Catherine Lund, Robert Lund, Thomas N Mather, Glen R Needham…

    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2014 7:417

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  19. Content type: Research

    Australia is one of the few high-income countries where dengue transmission regularly occurs. Dengue is a major health threat in North Queensland (NQ), where the vector Aedes aegypti is present. Whether NQ should...

    Authors: Elvina Viennet, Scott A Ritchie, Helen M Faddy, Craig R Williams and David Harley

    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2014 7:379

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  20. Content type: Research

    Deworming wild foxes by baiting with the anthelmintic praziquantel is being established as a preventive technique against environmental contamination with Echinococcus multilocularis eggs. Improvement of the cost...

    Authors: Takako Ikeda, Masashi Yoshimura, Keiichi Onoyama, Yuzaburo Oku, Nariaki Nonaka and Ken Katakura

    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2014 7:357

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  21. Content type: Research

    Previous research on determinants of malaria in Burkina Faso has largely focused on individual risk factors. Malaria risk, however, is also shaped by community, health system, and climatic/environmental charac...

    Authors: Sekou Samadoulougou, Mathieu Maheu-Giroux, Fati Kirakoya-Samadoulougou, Mathilde De Keukeleire, Marcia C Castro and Annie Robert

    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2014 7:350

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  22. Content type: Research

    Dengue is an acute arboviral disease responsible for most of the illness and death in tropical and subtropical regions. Over the last 25 years there has been increase epidemic activity of the disease in the Ca...

    Authors: Karmesh D Sharma, Ron S Mahabir, Kevin M Curtin, Joan M Sutherland, John B Agard and Dave D Chadee

    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2014 7:341

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  23. Content type: Research

    Dengue is a disease that has undergone significant expansion over the past hundred years. Understanding what factors limit the distribution of transmission can be used to predict current and future limits to f...

    Authors: Oliver J Brady, Nick Golding, David M Pigott, Moritz U G Kraemer, Jane P Messina, Robert C Reiner Jr, Thomas W Scott, David L Smith, Peter W Gething and Simon I Hay

    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2014 7:338

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  24. Content type: Research

    The original aim of the African Programme for Onchocerciasis Control (APOC) was to control onchocerciasis as a public health problem in 20 African countries. In order to identify all high risk areas where iver...

    Authors: Honorat GM Zouré, Mounkaila Noma, Afework H Tekle, Uche V Amazigo, Peter J Diggle, Emanuele Giorgi and Jan HF Remme

    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2014 7:326

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  25. Content type: Research

    Pathogens and their vectors are organisms whose ecology is often only accessible through population genetics tools based on spatio-temporal variability of molecular markers. However, molecular tools may presen...

    Authors: Modou Séré, Jacques Kaboré, Vincent Jamonneau, Adrien Marie Gaston Belem, Francisco J Ayala and Thierry De Meeûs

    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2014 7:331

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  26. Content type: Short report

    The wide distribution of Loa loa infection (loiasis) throughout the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is a major obstacle to the plans to eliminate onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis (LF) because the standa...

    Authors: Louise A Kelly-Hope, Jorge Cano, Michelle C Stanton, Moses J Bockarie and David H Molyneux

    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2014 7:307

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  27. Content type: Research

    Correlative modelling combines observations of species occurrence with environmental variables to capture the niche of organisms. It has been argued for the use of predictors that are ecologically relevant to ...

    Authors: Agustín Estrada-Peña, Adrián Estrada-Sánchez and José de la Fuente

    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2014 7:302

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  28. Content type: Research

    The African Programme for Onchocerciasis Control (APOC) has refocused its goals on the elimination of infection where possible, seemingly achievable by 15–17 years of annual mass distribution of ivermectin in ...

    Authors: Hugo C Turner, Martin Walker, Thomas S Churcher and María-Gloria Basáñez

    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2014 7:241

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  29. Content type: Research

    Quantifying the burden of parasitic diseases in relation to other diseases and injuries requires reliable estimates of prevalence for each disease and an analytic framework within which to estimate attributabl...

    Authors: Rachel L Pullan, Jennifer L Smith, Rashmi Jasrasaria and Simon J Brooker

    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2014 7:37

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  30. Content type: Research

    Soil-transmitted helminth infections affect tens of millions of individuals in the People’s Republic of China (P.R. China). There is a need for high-resolution estimates of at-risk areas and number of people i...

    Authors: Ying-Si Lai, Xiao-Nong Zhou, Jürg Utzinger and Penelope Vounatsou

    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2013 6:359

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  31. Content type: Research

    A fundamental understanding of the spatial distribution and ecology of mosquito larvae is essential for effective vector control intervention strategies. In this study, data-driven decision tree models, genera...

    Authors: Seid Tiku Mereta, Delenasaw Yewhalaw, Pieter Boets, Abdulhakim Ahmed, Luc Duchateau, Niko Speybroeck, Sophie O Vanwambeke, Worku Legesse, Luc De Meester and Peter LM Goethals

    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2013 6:320

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  32. Content type: Research

    The distribution of anopheline mosquitoes is determined by temporally dynamic environmental and human-associated variables, operating over a range of spatial scales. Macro-spatial short-term trends are driven ...

    Authors: Martin Walker, Peter Winskill, María-Gloria Basáñez, Joseph M Mwangangi, Charles Mbogo, John C Beier and Janet T Midega

    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2013 6:311

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  33. Content type: Research

    Low levels of relative humidity are known to decrease the lifespan of mosquitoes. However, most current models of malaria transmission do not account for the effects of relative humidity on mosquito survival. ...

    Authors: Teresa K Yamana and Elfatih A B Eltahir

    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2013 6:235

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  34. Content type: Research

    Animal and human infection with multiple parasite species is the norm rather than the exception, and empirical studies and animal models have provided evidence for a diverse range of interactions among parasit...

    Authors: Laith Yakob, Gail M Williams, Darren J Gray, Kate Halton, Juan Antonio Solon and Archie CA Clements

    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2013 6:157

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  35. Content type: Research

    The prevalence of infection with the three common soil-transmitted helminths (i.e. Ascaris lumbricoides, Trichuris trichiura, and hookworm) in Bolivia is among the highest in Latin America. However, the spatial d...

    Authors: Frédérique Chammartin, Ronaldo GC Scholte, John B Malone, Mara E Bavia, Prixia Nieto, Jürg Utzinger and Penelope Vounatsou

    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2013 6:152

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  36. Content type: Research

    Schistosomiasis japonica, caused by infection with Schistosoma japonicum, is still recognized as a major public health problem in the Peoples’ Republic of China. Mathematical modelling of schistosomiasis transmis...

    Authors: Shu-Jing Gao, Yu-Ying He, Yu-Jiang Liu, Guo-Jing Yang and Xiao-Nong Zhou

    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2013 6:141

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  37. Content type: Research

    The diversity of malaria vector populations, expressing various resistance and/or behavioural patterns could explain the reduced effectiveness of vector control interventions reported in some African countries...

    Authors: Nicolas Moiroux, Abdul S Bio-Bangana, Armel Djènontin, Fabrice Chandre, Vincent Corbel and Hélène Guis

    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2013 6:71

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  38. Content type: Research

    It is well known that temperature has a major influence on the transmission of malaria parasites to their hosts. However, mathematical models do not always agree about the way in which temperature affects mala...

    Authors: Torleif Markussen Lunde, Mohamed Nabie Bayoh and Bernt Lindtjørn

    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2013 6:20

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  39. Content type: Research

    Indoor residual insecticide spraying (IRS) and long-lasting insecticide treated nets (LLINs) are commonly used together even though evidence that such combinations confer greater protection against malaria tha...

    Authors: Fredros O Okumu, Samson S Kiware, Sarah J Moore and Gerry F Killeen

    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2013 6:17

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  40. Content type: Research

    Identification of malaria vector breeding sites can enhance control activities. Although associations between malaria vector breeding sites and topography are well recognized, practical models that predict bre...

    Authors: Jephtha C Nmor, Toshihiko Sunahara, Kensuke Goto, Kyoko Futami, George Sonye, Peter Akweywa, Gabriel Dida and Noboru Minakawa

    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2013 6:14

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  41. Content type: Research

    Culicoides imicola KIEFFER, 1913 (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) is the principal vector of Bluetongue disease in the Mediterranean basin, Africa and Asia. Previous studies have identified a range of eco-climatic vari...

    Authors: Thibaud Rigot, Annamaria Conte, Maria Goffredo, Els Ducheyne, Guy Hendrickx and Marius Gilbert

    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2012 5:270

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  42. Content type: Research

    Understanding the relationship between Plasmodium falciparum malaria transmission and health outcomes requires accurate estimates of exposure to infectious mosquitoes. However, measures of exposure such as mosqui...

    Authors: Nyaguara Amek, Nabie Bayoh, Mary Hamel, Kim A Lindblade, John E Gimnig, Frank Odhiambo, Kayla F Laserson, Laurence Slutsker, Thomas Smith and Penelope Vounatsou

    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2012 5:86

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  43. Content type: Research

    Intensive anti-malaria campaigns targeting the Anopheles population have demonstrated substantial reductions in adult mosquito density. Understanding the population dynamics of Anopheles mosquitoes throughout the...

    Authors: Michael T White, Jamie T Griffin, Thomas S Churcher, Neil M Ferguson, María-Gloria Basáñez and Azra C Ghani

    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2011 4:153

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  44. Content type: Research

    Temperature is a key determinant of environmental suitability for transmission of human malaria, modulating endemicity in some regions and preventing transmission in others. The spatial modelling of malaria en...

    Authors: Peter W Gething, Thomas P Van Boeckel, David L Smith, Carlos A Guerra, Anand P Patil, Robert W Snow and Simon I Hay

    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2011 4:92

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