Mathematics of Life Sciences Seminar (MLSS) March 30, 2015

Monday, March 30, 2015 (3:15 p.m. in Yost 306)

Title: Efficient Control of Schistosomiasis in Endemic Communities: Modeling In-Host Biology, Demographics, Diagnostics and Interventions

Speaker: Nara Yoon (Graduate Student, Case Western Reserve University MAMS Department)

Abstract: Schistosome is a parasitic worm that circulates between human and snail hosts through intermediate larval stages. Conventional modeling of Schistosomiasis transmission and control employs a “mean worm burden” (MWB) formulation. There is a need however, to account for uneven (dispersed) worm burden distributions in host populations. The talk will outline a stratified worm burden approach (SWB) coupled to host demography and in-host parasite biology (mating and density-dependent fecundity). The model also allows one to simulate disease diagnostics (egg-test counts), and compare model predictions with the available test data. We tested, validated and calibrated our system using epidemiological and demographic data from an endemic region of coastal Kenya, made of a connected network of human and snail sites. Along these lines we developed a new calibration methodology that utilizes a complete (individual level) diagnostics. We used this model to simulate several control strategies (mass drug therapy) and explore the possibility of elimination.

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