Dynamic Models of Schistosomiasis Morbidity

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  • Centre for the Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom

Previous attempts to assess the health impact of schistosomiasis control programs on community morbidity have been limited by a lack of a theoretical framework that describes the dynamic relationships between infection and morbidity. In this paper, a model of schistosomal morbidity is developed and parameterized. Morbidity is divided into that due to current heavy infection, and early and late stages of chronic disease. The model was parameterized using data showing resolution of disease after treatment, correlations between prevalence of disease and intensity of infection and using age-morbidity profiles. The fitted parameters suggest that early manifestations of disease such as hepatomegaly in Schistosoma mansoni and S. japonicum infections would resolve relatively quickly following treatment whereas later forms of disease such as liver fibrosis resolve very slowly or not at all. Similar general conclusions were obtained with data on early and late forms of urinary tract morbidity in S. haematobium.