Article

# Compound processes as models for clumped parasite data.

Institute of Mathematics, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 190, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland.

Mathematical biosciences (Impact Factor: 1.3). 09/2009; 222(1):27-35. DOI:10.1016/j.mbs.2009.08.007 Source: PubMed

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**ABSTRACT:**Echinococcosis is a complex zoonosis that has domestic and sylvatic lifecycles, and a range of different intermediate and definitive host species. The complexities of its transmission and the sparse evidence on the effectiveness of control strategies in diverse settings provide significant challenges for the design of effective public health policy against this disease. Mathematical modelling is a useful tool for simulating control packages under locally specific transmission conditions to inform optimal timing and frequency of phased interventions for cost-effective control of echinococcosis. The aims of this review of 30 years of Echinococcus modelling were to discern the epidemiological mechanisms underpinning models of Echinococcus granulosus and E. multilocularis transmission and to establish the need to include a human transmission component in such models. A search was conducted of all relevant articles published up until July 2012, identified from the PubMED, Web of Knowledge and Medline databases and review of bibliographies of selected papers. Papers eligible for inclusion were those describing the design of a new model, or modification of an existing mathematical model of E. granulosus or E. multilocularis transmission. A total of 13 eligible papers were identified, five of which described mathematical models of E. granulosus and eight that described E. multilocularis transmission. These models varied primarily on the basis of six key mechanisms that all have the capacity to modulate model dynamics, qualitatively affecting projections. These are: 1) the inclusion of a 'latent' class and/or time delay from host exposure to infectiousness; 2) an age structure for animal hosts; 3) the presence of density-dependent constraints; 4) accounting for seasonality; 5) stochastic parameters; and 6) inclusion of spatial and risk structures. This review discusses the conditions under which these mechanisms may be important for inclusion in models of Echinococcus transmission and proposes recommendations for the design of dynamic human models of transmission. Accounting for the dynamic behaviour of the Echinococcus parasites in humans will be key to predicting changes in the disease burden over time and to simulate control strategies that optimise public health impact.PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 01/2013; 7(8):e2386. · 4.57 Impact Factor - [show abstract] [hide abstract]

**ABSTRACT:**Studying the distribution of parasitic helminth body size across a population of definitive hosts can advance our understanding of parasite population biology. Body size is typically correlated with egg production. Consequently, inequalities in body size have been frequently measured to infer variation in reproductive success (VRS). Body size is also related to parasite age (time since entering the definitive host) and potentially provides valuable information on the mode of acquisition and establishment of immature (larval) parasites within the host: whether parasites tend to establish singly or in aggregates. The mode of acquisition of soil-transmitted helminths has been a theoretical consideration in the parasitological literature but has eluded data-driven investigation. In this paper, we analyse individual Ascaris lumbricoides weight data collected from a cohort of human hosts before and after re-infection following curative treatment, and explore its distribution within and among individuals in the population. Lorenz curves and Gini coefficients indicate that levels of weight inequality (a proxy for VRS) in A.lumbricoides are lower than other published estimates from animal-helminth systems. We explore levels of intra-host weight aggregation using statistical models to estimate the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) while adjusting for covariates using a flexible fractional polynomial transformation approach capable of handling non-linear functional relationships. The estimated ICCs indicate that weights are aggregated within hosts both at equilibrium and after re-infection, suggesting that parasites may establish within the host in clumps. The implications of a clumped infection process are discussed in terms of ascariasis transmission dynamics, control and anthelmintic resistance.International journal for parasitology 04/2010; 40(12):1373-80. · 3.39 Impact Factor

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