The microsimulation approach to epidemiologic modeling of helminthic infections, with special reference to schistosomiasis

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  • 1 Centre for Decision Sciences in Tropical Disease Control, Department of Public Health, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
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The microsimulation technique has been used since 1985 as a tool for epidemiologic modeling of helminthic infections. This technique is characterized by mimicking individual life histories, which makes it possible to include several relevant processes and mechanisms that have not so far been considered in applied modeling. Biological, epidemiologic, and social processes can be simulated in detail, which allows realistic prediction of the impact of control strategies. It is clear that careful quantification and validation of the many processes and parameters in the model requires close collaboration with experts working on control projects. In the development and application of a microsimulation model, we distinguish eight steps, ranging from the identification of questions the model will be designed to address, to the completion of a model that can be used as a routine decision-making tool in a control program.

Author Notes

Authors' address: J. D. F. Habbema, S. J. De Vlas, A. P. Plaisier, and G. J. Van Oortmarssen, Centre for Decision Sciences in Tropical Disease Control, Department of Public Health, Room Ee-2042, Erasmus University Rotterdam, PO Box 1738, 3000 DR Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

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