Schistosomiasis is the deadliest neglected tropical disease, killing an estimated 280,000 people each year in the African region alone. Even with intensive biannual Mass Drug Administration (MDA), prevalence of schistosomiasis infections are still seen to rebound rapidly after each round. In this project, I will develop a stochastic individual-based model (IBM) to simulate schistosomiasis transmission integrating cutting-edge mathematical models and statistical methods with recent advances in parasite genetics, epidemiology, diagnostics and immunology.
This project aims to advance our current understanding of schistosomiasis transmission dynamics investigating the mechanisms that cause the rapid rebound of prevalence after MDA and proposing optimal implementation of current and novel strategies to achieve schistosomiasis control and move towards elimination. In addition, this project will build a reference methodological framework to comprehensively study other MDA targeted infectious diseases.