Determining between biological, operational, and behavioural drivers of sustained schistosomiasis transmission.
Speaker: Jessica Clark, University of Glasgow
Schistosomiasis is a neglected tropical disease affecting 240 million people. Endemic in Uganda, it has been the target of mass drug administration since 2003. Despite this, prevalence and transmission remain very high in many districts. Infections cannot be directly observed, so it is unclear whether this is because treatment is not working (a biological failure), or because of operational challenges such as imperfect diagnostics, or biologically irrelevant geographical allocations of treatment. The World Health Organization have set ambitious public health targets for the control of schistosomiasis. To achieve these, it is critical we understand the drivers of sustained transmission, despite decades of interventions. In this seminar I will present a body of work using latent process models and “messy” data to show that a combination of poor treatment efficacy and sub-optimal diagnostics are key factors. I will then touch on an ongoing study exploring the impact of habitual human movement on sustained transmission.