Martin Walker

Martin Walker
Royal Veterinary College | RVC · Department of Pathobiology and Population Health Sciences

PhD

About

173
Publications
30,314
Reads
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2,468
Citations
Citations since 2017
95 Research Items
2049 Citations
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Introduction
I am a researcher interested in the mathematical and statistical epidemiology of parasitic infections and infectious diseases of poverty. I am particularly interested in interfacing population dynamics and statistical techniques to address questions of public health importance in the context of neglected tropical diseases.
Additional affiliations
February 2017 - present
Royal Veterinary College
Position
  • Lecturer
February 2017 - October 2017
Royal Veterinary College
Position
  • Lecturer
October 2010 - present
Imperial College London
Position
  • Research Associate

Publications

Publications (173)
Article
Full-text available
Background: Mass drug administration (MDA) with praziquantel is the cornerstone of schistosomiasis control in sub-Saharan Africa. The effectiveness of this strategy is dependent on the continued high efficacy of praziquantel, however drug efficacy is rarely monitored using appropriate statistical approaches that can detect early signs of wane. Me...
Article
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Background: Mass drug administration (MDA) with ivermectin is the cornerstone of efforts to eliminate human onchocerciasis by 2020/2025. The feasibility of elimination crucially depends on the effects of multiple ivermectin doses on Onchocerca volvulus. A single ivermectin (standard) dose clears the skin-dwelling microfilarial progeny of adult wor...
Article
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Background: Horizontal transmission of Toxoplasma gondii occurs primarily via ingestion of environmental oocysts or consumption of undercooked/raw meat containing cyst-stage bradyzoites. The relative importance of these two transmission routes remains unclear. Oocyst infection can be distinguished from bradyzoite infection by identification of IgG...
Article
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Lymphatic filariasis and onchocerciasis are neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) targeted for elimination by mass (antifilarial) drug administration. These drugs are predominantly active against the microfilarial progeny of adult worms. New drugs or combinations are needed to improve patient therapy and to enhance the effectiveness of interventions i...
Article
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Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many key neglected tropical disease (NTD) activities have been postponed. This hindrance comes at a time when the NTDs are progressing towards their ambitious goals for 2030. Mathematical modelling on several NTDs, namely gambiense sleeping sickness, lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis, soil-transmitt...
Preprint
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Background Onchocerciasis is a vector-borne disease caused by the filarial nematode Onchocerca volvulus . Endemic countries target elimination of parasite transmission using primarily annual ivermectin mass administration. Elimination is particularly challenging in sub-Saharan Africa, where there are large contiguous areas with varying levels of en...
Article
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Prenatal infection with the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii can cause congenital toxoplasmosis (CT), an often fatal or lifelong-disabling condition. Several studies of human populations have reported temporal decreases in seroprevalence, suggesting declining CT incidence. However, the consistency of this trend among diverse populations remains...
Article
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Background: Albendazole is an orally administered anti-parasitic medication with widespread usage in a variety of both programmatic and clinical contexts. Previous work has shown that the drug's pharmacologically active metabolite, albendazole sulfoxide, is characterised by substantial inter-individual pharmacokinetic variation. This variation mig...
Article
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The World Health Organization's revised NTD Roadmap and the newly launched Guidelines target elimination of schistosomiasis as a public health problem in all endemic areas by 2030. Key to meeting this goal is elucidating how selective pressures imposed by interventions shape parasite populations. Our aim was to identify any differential impact of a...
Article
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Schistosomiasis, a neglected tropical disease, is a widespread chronic helminthiasis reported in 78 countries, predominantly those within sub-Saharan Africa, as well as Latin America, Asia, and most recently, even Europe. Species of the causative blood fluke infect not only humans but also animals, and hybrids between previously assumed human-speci...
Article
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Infection by Taenia solium poses a major burden across endemic countries. The World Health Organization (WHO) 2021-2030 Neglected Tropical Diseases roadmap has proposed that 30% of endemic countries achieve intensified T. solium control in hyperendemic areas by 2030. Understanding geographical variation in age-prevalence profiles and force-of-infec...
Preprint
Full-text available
Schistosomiasis is a major neglected tropical disease (NTD) affecting both humans and animals. The morbidity and mortality inflicted upon livestock in sub-Saharan Africa has been largely overlooked, in part due to a lack of validated sensitive and specific tests, which do not require specialist training or equipment to deliver and interpret. Inexpe...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Albendazole is an orally administered anti-parasitic medication with widespread usage in a variety of both programmatic and clinical contexts. Previous work has shown the drug to be characterised by significant inter-individual pharmacokinetic variation. This variation is thought to have important consequences for treatment success, but...
Preprint
Full-text available
The World Health Organization revised NTD Roadmap and its newly launched Guidelines target elimination of schistosomiasis as a public health problem in all endemic areas by 2030. Key to meeting this goal is elucidating how selective pressures imposed by interventions shape parasite populations. Our aim was to identify any differential impact of a u...
Article
Full-text available
Background A rapid, accurate, non-invasive diagnostic screen is needed to identify people with SARS-CoV-2 infection. We investigated whether organic semi-conducting (OSC) sensors and trained dogs could distinguish between people infected with asymptomatic or mild symptoms, and uninfected individuals, and the impact of screening at ports-of-entry. M...
Preprint
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Brucellosis imposes substantial impacts on livestock production and public health worldwide. A stochastic, age-structured model incorporating herd demographics was developed describing within- and between- herd transmission of Brucella abortus in dairy cattle herds. The model was fitted to data from a cross-sectional study conducted in Punjab State...
Preprint
Full-text available
Infection by Taenia solium poses a major burden across endemic countries. The World Health Organization (WHO) 2021–2030 Neglected Tropical Diseases roadmap has proposed that 30% of endemic countries achieve intensified T. solium control in hyperendemic areas by 2030. Understanding geographical variation in age-prevalence profiles and force-of-infec...
Article
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Background In onchocerciasis endemic areas in Africa, heterogenous biting rates by blackfly vectors on humans are assumed to partially explain age- and sex-dependent infection patterns with Onchocerca volvulus . To underpin these assumptions and further improve predictions made by onchocerciasis transmission models, demographic patterns in antibody...
Article
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The Infectious Diseases Data Observatory (IDDO, https://www.iddo.org ) has launched a clinical data platform for the collation, curation, standardisation and reuse of individual participant data (IPD) on treatments for two of the most globally important neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), schistosomiasis (SCH) and soil-transmitted helminthiases (ST...
Article
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The relevance of mustelids in SARS-CoV-2 transmission has become increasingly evident. Alongside experimental demonstration of airborne transmission among ferrets, the major animal model for human respiratory diseases, transmission of SARS-CoV-2 within and/or between commercial mink farms has occurred and continues to occur. The number of mink rear...
Article
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Background Cysticercosis is a zoonotic neglected tropical disease (NTD) that affects humans and pigs following the ingestion of Taenia solium eggs. Human cysticercosis poses a substantial public health burden in endemic countries. The World Health Organization (WHO) aims to target high-endemicity settings with enhanced interventions in 17 countries...
Article
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Background Albendazole (ALB) is administered annually to millions of children through global deworming programs targeting soil-transmitted helminths (STHs: Ascaris lumbricoides , Trichuris trichiura and hookworms, Necator americanus and Ancylostoma duodenale ). However, due to the lack of large individual patient datasets collected using standardiz...
Article
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Hybridization of infectious agents is a major emerging public and veterinary health concern at the interface of evolution, epidemiology, and control. Whilst evidence of the extent of hybridization amongst parasites is increasing, their impact on morbidity remains largely unknown. This may be predicted to be particularly pertinent where parasites of...
Article
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Objectives: Neurocysticercosis (NCC) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) have high disease burden and are prevalent in overlapping low- and middle-income areas. Yet, treatment guidance for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWH/A) co-infected with NCC is currently lacking. This study aims to scope the available literature on HIV/AIDS and NCC co-infe...
Article
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The stability of parasite populations is regulated by density-dependent processes occurring at different stages of their life cycle. In dioecious helminth infections, density-dependent fecundity is one such regulatory process that describes the reduction in egg production by female worms in high worm burden within-host environments. In human schist...
Article
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Background: Due to spatial heterogeneity in onchocerciasis transmission, the duration of ivermectin mass drug administration (MDA) required for eliminating onchocerciasis will vary within endemic areas and the occurrence of transmission 'hotspots' is inevitable. The geographical scale at which stop-MDA decisions are made will be a key driver in ho...
Article
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Background: Control of soil-transmitted helminthiasis and schistosomiasis relies heavily on regular preventive chemotherapy. Monitoring drug efficacy is crucial to provide early warning of treatment failures. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a survey design in which only egg-positive individuals are retested after treatment. Although...
Article
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Drug-based interventions are at the heart of global efforts to reach elimination as a public health problem (trachoma, soil-transmitted helminthiases, schistosomiasis, lymphatic filariasis) or elimination of transmission (onchocerciasis) for five of the most prevalent neglected tropical diseases tackled via the World Health Organization preventive...
Chapter
Onchocerciasis (also known as ‘river blindness’), is a neglected tropical disease (NTD) caused by the (Simulium-transmitted) filarial nematode Onchocerca volvulus. The occurrence of ‘blinding’ (savannah) and non-blinding (forest) parasite strains and the existence of corresponding, locally adapted Onchocerca–Simulium complexes were postulated to ex...
Article
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Background Mass drug administration (MDA) of ivermectin for onchocerciasis has been disrupted by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Mathematical modelling can help predict how missed/delayed MDA will affect short-term epidemiological trends and elimination prospects by 2030. Methods Two onchocerciasis transmission models (EPIONCHO-I...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Mass drug administration (MDA) of ivermectin for onchocerciasis has been disrupted by the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic. Mathematical modelling can help predict how missed/delayed MDA will affect short-term epidemiological trends and elimination prospects by 2030. Methods Two onchocerciasis transmission models (EPIONCHO-IBM and ONCHOSI...
Article
Full-text available
Traditionally, the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii has been thought of as relevant to public health primarily within the context of congenital toxoplasmosis or postnatally acquired disease in immunocompromised patients. However, latent T. gondii infection has been increasingly associated with a wide variety of neuropsychiatric disorders and, m...
Article
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The apicomplexan parasite Toxoplasma gondii, the causative agent of toxoplasmosis, can infect all warm-blooded animals. T. gondii can subtly alter host behaviors-either through manipulation to enhance transmission to the feline definitive host or as a side-effect, or "constraint," of infection. In humans, T. gondii infection, either alone or in ass...
Article
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Introduction Moxidectin is a milbemycin endectocide recently approved for the treatment of human onchocerciasis. Onchocerciasis, earmarked for elimination of transmission, is a filarial infection endemic in Africa, Yemen, and the Amazonian focus straddling Venezuela and Brazil. Concerns over whether the predominant treatment strategy (yearly mass d...
Article
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Analyses of the population genetic structure of schistosomes under the "Schistosomiasis Consortium for Operational Research and Evaluation" (SCORE) contrasting treatment pressure scenarios in Tanzania, Niger, and Zanzibar were performed to provide supplementary critical information with which to evaluate the impact of these large-scale control acti...
Article
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Five principles (Box 2) are the results produced by our distillation and synthesis of guidance on good modelling practices. Adoption of these principles as consortium principles is a result of about two years of engagement with the consortium membership. See section Principles in Practice for how adherence might be demonstrated.
Article
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Background: In Mali, ivermectin-based onchocerciasis elimination from the Bakoye and Falémé foci, reported in 2009-2012, was a beacon leading to policy shifting from morbidity control to elimination of transmission (EOT). These foci are also endemic for lymphatic filariasis (LF). In 2007-2016 mass ivermectin plus albendazole administration was imp...
Article
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Background: The World Health Organization recommends monitoring Onchocerca volvulus Ov16 serology in children aged <10 years for stopping mass ivermectin administration. Transmission models can help to identify the most informative age groups for serological monitoring and investigate the discriminatory power of serology-based elimination threshol...
Article
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The cestode Taenia solium is responsible for a considerable cross-sectoral health and economic burden due to human neurocysticercosis and porcine cysticercosis. The 2012 World Health Organization (WHO) roadmap for neglected tropical diseases called for the development of a validated strategy for control of T. solium; however, such a strategy is not...
Article
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Background: Many control methods have been implemented to tackle onchocerciasis and great successes have been achieved, leading to a paradigm shift from control of morbidity to interruption of transmission and ultimately elimination. The mandate of the African Programme for Onchocerciasis Control (APOC) ended in 2015, and endemic countries are to...
Article
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The avermectin derivative emamectin benzoate (EMB) has been widely used by salmon industries around the world to control sea lice infestations. Resistance to this anti-parasitic drug is also commonly reported in these industries. The objective of this study was to quantify the number of sea lice potentially exposed to sub-lethal concentrations of E...
Article
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Background: With the vision of "a world free of schistosomiasis," the World Health Organization (WHO) set ambitious goals of control of this debilitating disease and its elimination as a public health problem by 2020 and 2025, respectively. As these milestones become imminent, and if programs are to succeed, it is important to evaluate the WHO pro...
Article
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Background Density dependence in helminth establishment and heterogeneity in exposure to infection are known to drive resilience to interventions based on mass drug administration (MDA). However, the interaction between these processes is poorly understood. We developed a novel individual-based model for onchocerciasis transmission, EPIONCHO-IBM, w...
Article
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Background Loiasis is mostly considered a relatively benign infection when compared with other filarial and parasitic diseases, with Calabar swellings and eyeworm being the most common signs. Yet, there are numerous reports in the literature of more serious sequelae. Establishing the relationship between infection and disease is a crucial first ste...
Preprint
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Taenia solium (TS), responsible for porcine cysticercosis, human taeniasis and (neuro)cysticercosis, was included in the World Health Organization neglected tropical disease (NTD) roadmap published in 2012. Targets set in this roadmap have not been met, but T. solium has been included in the consultation process for the new 2030 goals proposed for...
Article
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Background: Sibship reconstruction is a form of parentage analysis that can be used to identify the number of helminth parental genotypes infecting individual hosts using genetic data on only their offspring. This has the potential to be used for estimating individual worm burdens when adult parasites are otherwise inaccessible, the case for many...
Article
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Objective To provide a systematic review of economic evaluations that have been conducted for onchocerciasis interventions, to summarise current key knowledge and to identify research gaps. Method A systematic review of the literature was conducted on the 8th of August 2018 using the PubMed (MEDLINE) and ISI Web of Science electronic databases. No...
Article
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Background The cestode Taenia solium causes the neglected (zoonotic) tropical disease cysticercosis, a leading cause of preventable epilepsy in endemic low and middle-income countries. Transmission models can inform current scaling-up of control efforts by helping to identify, validate and optimise control and elimination strategies as proposed by...
Data
PRISMA Flow diagram detailing the number of studies screened, assessed for eligibility, and included in the Taeniidae family modelling review. (DOC)
Data
PRISMA checklist for systematic reviews. From: Moher D, Liberati A, Tetzlaff J, Altman DG, The PRISMA Group (2009). Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses: The PRISMA Statement. PLoS Med 6(7): e1000097. doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed1000097. (DOCX)
Data
Full data extraction tool: T. solium models and related transmission models of other Taeniidae family infections. Main sheet includes reference, motivation, model structural, parameterisation and intervention modelling details. Model assumptions and main findings included on separate sheets in file. (XLSX)
Article
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Campylobacter is the leading cause of foodborne bacterial gastroenteritis in humans worldwide, often associated with the consumption of undercooked poultry. In Jordan, the majority of broiler chicken production occurs in semi-commercial farms, where poor housing conditions and low bio-security are likely to promote campylobacter colonisation. While...
Data
Schistosoma mansoni egg count reduction data from primary schools in Uganda. Collected 2014. Data from publication: Crellen, T., Walker, M., Lamberton, P.H., Kabatereine, N.B., Tukahebwa, E.M., Cotton, J.A. and Webster, J.P., 2016. Reduced efficacy of praziquantel against Schistosoma mansoni is associated with multiple rounds of mass drug administr...
Article
Background: Small intestinal neuroendocrine tumours (SI NETs) represent 30-50% of small bowel neoplasms and often present at an advanced stage. To date, there is relatively limited literature regarding prognostic factors affecting overall survival (OS) in stage IV disease. In addition, the prevalence of mesenteric fibrosis (MF) in SI NETs and its...
Article
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Background Great strides have been made toward onchocerciasis elimination by mass drug administration (MDA) of ivermectin. Focusing on MDA-eligible areas, we investigated where the elimination goal can be achieved by 2025 by continuation of current practice (annual MDA with ivermectin) and where intensification or additional vector control is requi...
Article
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Background: In 2012, the World Health Organization set goals for the elimination of onchocerciasis transmission by 2020 in selected African countries. Epidemiological data and mathematical modelling have indicated that elimination may not be achieved with annual ivermectin distribution in all endemic foci. Complementary and alternative treatment s...
Article
Objective: To evaluate the efficacy and toxicity of a repeat peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT) course in neuroendocrine tumour (NET) patients who have progressed following previous PRRT and to identify factors contributing to retreatment outcomes. Methods: This was a retrospective analysis of 47 consecutive patients who had been treat...
Article
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Background: Small intestinal neuroendocrine tumours (SI NETs) represent 30-50% of small bowel neoplasms and are often associated with diverse fibrotic complications. Mesenteric fibrosis is a hallmark of SI NETs which may cause substantial morbidity and is considered an adverse feature. However, survival analyses in this group of patients are lacki...
Article
Full-text available
Endemic to Central Africa, loiasis - or African eye worm (caused by the filarial nematode Loa loa) - affects more than 10 million people. Despite causing ocular and systemic symptoms, it has typically been considered a benign condition, only of public health relevance because it impedes mass drug administration-based interventions against onchocerc...
Article
Filarial nematodes cause neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) such as river blindness, elephantiasis, and African eye worm. Global control and elimination efforts are well underway for the former two, and epidemiological models have played a crucial role in understanding the impact of interventions and guiding control policy. However, for the latter...