Modelling Parasite Transmission and Control
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About the author
EDWIN MICHAEL is currently a Senior Lecturer in infectious disease epidemiology at Imperial College London, UK, with a research focus on modelling the transmission and control of tropical parasitic and infectious diseases. His main interest lies in developing a system dynamics approach to gaining a better understanding of parasite transmission, immunology, genetics and economics, in order to develop integrated mathematical models of pathogen transmission as a tool for aiding the rational design, monitoring and evaluation of large-scale intervention programmes, ranging from vector control, chemotherapy to vaccinations. He has worked extensively in Africa (primarily East Africa), India, Vietnam and Papua New Guinea, particularly over the past decade (in partnership with international (WHO, World Bank) and national institutions), in translating research on disease population biology, spatial dynamics and public health decision-making for developing reliable model-based spatial decision support tools to aid the design, surveillance and evaluation of ecologically resilient and sustainable intervention programmes against parasitic diseases of major public health importance in developing countries. His current interest is in extending this work to developing integrated ecological, economic and social systems approaches for investigating interactions between climate change, ecosystem dynamics and the socio-ecology of disease transmission in vulnerable communities.
ROBERT C. SPEAR is an engineer by training, having received the BS and MS degrees in Engineering Science and Mechanical Engineering, respectively, from the University of California at Berkeley and the PhD degree in Control Engineering from Cambridge University in 1968. After several years in the aerospace industry his interests turned to environmental issues and he returned to Berkeley in 1970 to take up a post-doctoral position in this field in the School of Public Health. He was appointed to a faculty position in 1971 and is now Professor of the Graduate School at Berkeley. His research interests focus on the assessment and quantification of human exposures to toxic and hazardous agents in the environment. His early work concerned the exposure of agricultural workers to pesticides. In more recent years his work has concerned applications of mathematical and statistical techniques in the assessment and control of exposures to both chemical and biological agents. For the past 15 years his work has been increasingly focused on determinants of the prevalence and control of the parasitic disease schistosomiasis in the mountainous regions of Sichuan Province in southwestern China.
Modelling parasite transmission has made enormous strides since the seminal models of Ross for describing malaria transmission developed during the early 1900s. McDonald’s use of the early malaria models to show that killing adult mosquitoes would be particularly effective in reducing infection transmission was a major advance in demonstrating the usefulness of theoretical analysis and population dynamics modelling in particular for guiding parasite control programmes, and since then parasite transmission models have also been used to guide the onchocerciasis control programme in Africa, as well as for investigating best strategies for controlling a host of other parasites, including tuberculosis, trachoma and lately helminth infections, such as schistosomiasis and filariasis. The importance of this work is highlighted by greater understanding of threshold phenomena in transmission dynamics leading to the concept that natural “breakpoints” occur below which parasite systems will go extinct to the roles that worm mating behaviour and infection aggregation can play in both helminth transmission and control. The emerging trend from this work is thus the increasing use of understanding parasite transmission dynamics via the construction and analysis of mathematical models for use in guiding the development of informed parasite control strategies, so much so that this twin objective, viz improving understanding of parasite transmission dynamics and applying models to guide parasite control, has almost become a de facto goal of most recent work in parasite transmission modelling.
We have organized the material in the book into two major sections, the first presenting the state of the art in models aimed at capturing complex or detailed aspects of transmission dynamics beginning with a review of the evolution of modelling malaria transmission. Part II of the book serves to highlight the current use of transmission models in the planning, monitoring and evaluation of parasite control programmes.
Springer New York
; December 2010
235 pages; ISBN 9781441960641Read online
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Title: Modelling Parasite Transmission and Control
Author: Edwin Michael; Robert C. Spear