Mathematical modeling of malaria infection with innate and adaptive immunity in individuals and agent-based communities.
ABSTRACT Agent-based modeling of Plasmodium falciparum infection offers an attractive alternative to the conventional Ross-Macdonald methodology, as it allows simulation of heterogeneous communities subjected to realistic transmission (inoculation patterns).
We developed a new, agent based model that accounts for the essential in-host processes: parasite replication and its regulation by innate and adaptive immunity. The model also incorporates a simplified version of antigenic variation by Plasmodium falciparum. We calibrated the model using data from malaria-therapy (MT) studies, and developed a novel calibration procedure that accounts for a deterministic and a pseudo-random component in the observed parasite density patterns. Using the parasite density patterns of 122 MT patients, we generated a large number of calibrated parameters. The resulting data set served as a basis for constructing and simulating heterogeneous agent-based (AB) communities of MT-like hosts. We conducted several numerical experiments subjecting AB communities to realistic inoculation patterns reported from previous field studies, and compared the model output to the observed malaria prevalence in the field. There was overall consistency, supporting the potential of this agent-based methodology to represent transmission in realistic communities.
Our approach represents a novel, convenient and versatile method to model Plasmodium falciparum infection.
Full-textDOI: · Available from: Charles H King, May 28, 2015
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ABSTRACT: Achieving a theoretical foundation for malaria elimination will require a detailed understanding of the quantitative relationships between patient treatment-seeking behavior, treatment coverage, and the effects of curative therapies that also block Plasmodium parasite transmission to mosquito vectors. Here, we report a mechanistic, within-host mathematical model that uses pharmacokinetic (PK) and pharmacodynamic (PD) data to simulate the effects of artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) on Plasmodium falciparum transmission. To contextualize this model, we created a set of global maps of the fold reductions that would be necessary to reduce the malaria R C (i.e. its basic reproductive number under control) to below 1 and thus interrupt transmission. This modeling was applied to low-transmission settings, defined as having a R 0<10 based on 2010 data. Our modeling predicts that treating 93-98% of symptomatic infections with an ACT within five days of fever onset would interrupt malaria transmission for ∼91% of the at-risk population of Southeast Asia and ∼74% of the global at-risk population, and lead these populations towards malaria elimination. This level of treatment coverage corresponds to an estimated 81-85% of all infected individuals in these settings. At this coverage level with ACTs, the addition of the gametocytocidal agent primaquine affords no major gains in transmission reduction. Indeed, we estimate that it would require switching ∼180 people from ACTs to ACTs plus primaquine to achieve the same transmission reduction as switching a single individual from untreated to treated with ACTs. Our model thus predicts that the addition of gametocytocidal drugs to treatment regimens provides very small population-wide benefits and that the focus of control efforts in Southeast Asia should be on increasing prompt ACT coverage. Prospects for elimination in much of Sub-Saharan Africa appear far less favorable currently, due to high rates of infection and less frequent and less rapid treatment.PLoS Computational Biology 01/2014; 10(1):e1003434. DOI:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1003434 · 4.83 Impact Factor
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