Impact of Key Assumptions about the Population Biology of Soil-Transmitted Helminths on the Sustainable Control of Morbidity

Carolin Vegvari*, Federica Giardina, Veronica Malizia, Sake J. De Vlas, Luc E. Coffeng, Roy M. Anderson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
38 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The design and evaluation of control programs for soil-transmitted helminths (STHs) is based on surveillance data recording measurements of egg counts in the stool of infected individuals, which underpin estimates of the prevalence and average intensity of infection. There is considerable uncertainty around these measurements and their interpretation. The uncertainty is composed of several sources of measurement error and the limit of detection of fecal smear tests on the one hand, and key assumptions on STH biology on the other hand, including assumptions on the aggregation of worms within hosts and on the impact of density-dependent influences on worm reproduction. Using 2 independently developed models of STH transmission we show how different aspects of STH biology and human behavior impact on STH surveillance and control programs and how accounting for uncertainty can help to develop optimal and sustainable control strategies to meet the World Health Organization (WHO) morbidity target for STHs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S188-S194
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Volume72
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Financial support. This work was supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation the NTD Modelling Consortium (grant number OPP1184344). R. M. A. acknowledges funding via the DeWorm3 award by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (grant number OPP1129535) to the Natural History Museum in London. LEC further acknowledges funding from the Dutch Society for Scientific Research (NWO, grant number 016.Veni.178.023). F. G. acknowledges funding from a European Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship (grant number H2020-COFUND-2015-FP-707404). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America.

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