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New Paper by Sanna Sokolow, Giulio De Leo, and collaborators published in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases

Nov 5 2015

Posted In:

Original Articles, Research Spotlight

Author Summary

"Dynamical models of schistosomiasis infections, even spatially explicit ones, have so far only addressed spatial scales encompassing at best a few villages and the disease transmission impacts of related short-range human mobility. Here, we build from existing models of disease dynamics and spread, including a proxy of the ecology of the intermediate host of the parasite, and from generalized reproduction numbers of SIR-type systems developed for epidemics of waterborne disease, to set up large-scale projections of spatial patterns of the disease at whole country level. We ground our study in Burkina Faso in sub-Saharan Africa, and its model of social and economic development including the infrastructure built to exploit water resources, especially irrigation schemes, which have been empirically linked to enhanced disease burden. We make extensive use of remotely sensed and field data, and capitalize on ecohydrological insight. We suggest that reliable nationwide patterns of disease burden can be projected in relation to the key roles of human mobility and water resources development subsuming exposure, and claim that the case at hand provides an insightful example towards the integration of development and environmental thinking not confined to ad-hoc indicators of human development."

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