The impact of vector migration on the effectiveness of strategies to control gambiense human African trypanosomiasis

Martial L. Ndeffo-mbah, Abhishek Pandey, Katherine E. Atkins, Serap Aksoy, Alison P. Galvani, Jérémy Bouyer (Editor)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

BACKGROUND: Several modeling studies have been undertaken to assess the feasibility of the WHO goal of eliminating gambiense human African trypanosomiasis (g-HAT) by 2030. However, these studies have generally overlooked the effect of vector migration on disease transmission and control. Here, we evaluated the impact of vector migration on the feasibility of interrupting transmission in different g-HAT foci.

METHODS: We developed a g-HAT transmission model of a single tsetse population cluster that accounts for migration of tsetse fly into this population. We used a model calibration approach to constrain g-HAT incidence to ranges expected for high, moderate and low transmission settings, respectively. We used the model to evaluate the effectiveness of current intervention measures, including medical intervention through enhanced screening and treatment, and vector control, for interrupting g-HAT transmission in disease foci under each transmission setting.

RESULTS: We showed that, in low transmission settings, under enhanced medical intervention alone, at least 70% treatment coverage is needed to interrupt g-HAT transmission within 10 years. In moderate transmission settings, a combination of medical intervention and a vector control measure with a daily tsetse mortality greater than 0.03 is required to achieve interruption of disease transmission within 10 years. In high transmission settings, interruption of disease transmission within 10 years requires a combination of at least 70% medical intervention coverage and at least 0.05 tsetse daily mortality rate from vector control. However, the probability of achieving elimination in high transmission settings decreases with an increased tsetse migration rate.

CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that the WHO 2030 goal of G-HAT elimination is, at least in theory, achievable. But the presence of tsetse migration may reduce the probability of interrupting g-HAT transmission in moderate and high transmission foci. Therefore, optimal vector control programs should incorporate monitoring and controlling of vector density in buffer areas around foci of g-HAT control efforts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e0007903
JournalPLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 5 Dec 2019

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Animal Migration
  • Animals
  • Computer Simulation
  • Disease Eradication
  • Disease Transmission, Infectious/prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Insect Control/methods
  • Insect Vectors/growth & development
  • Trypanosomiasis, African/prevention & control
  • Tsetse Flies/growth & development


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