Assessing the effect of zooprophylaxis on zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniasis transmission: A system dynamics approach

Abstract : Capturing or diverting the disease carrying vector from humans can reduce the transmission of vector borne diseases such as leishmaniasis. The use of animals that act as dead-end hosts to relieve the vector (sandfly) bites on humans is called zooprophylaxis. However, as the number of blood meal providers especially domestic animals increases, the sandflies enhanced availability of blood meals will improve its number and survival, thereby countering the impact of diverting bites from humans. Thus, the transmission model exhibits the structure of a feedback loop characterizing complex dynamic systems. In order to rigorously assess the effect of zooprophylaxis, we propose a system dynamic model for zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniasis transmission with 3 blood-meal hosts: domestic animals, humans, and a reservoir (rodents). In this context, a simulation study of the proposed model with a follow-up period of 1000 days was performed. We explored how perturbations in the parameters characterizing the transmission, essentially the vector biting rates and the size of the domestic animal population, affect the zooprophylaxis outcome. The results show that the basic reproductive number R0 and the disease incidence in humans are decreasing function of the relative size of the domestic animal population. The speed of this decrease depends also on the vector biting rates of the different mammal species. The key factors influencing the magnitude of zooprophylaxis are: the sizes of the vector, rodent, and domestic animal populations, as well as, the biting rates which incorporate relative attraction and accessibility of the vectors to the mammalian populations.
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Belhassen Kaabi, Sami Ben-Hadj Ahmed. Assessing the effect of zooprophylaxis on zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniasis transmission: A system dynamics approach. BioSystems, Elsevier, 2013, 114 (3), pp.253 - 260. ⟨10.1016/j.biosystems.2013.10.003⟩. ⟨pasteur-01382163⟩

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