Household Model of Chagas Disease Vectors (Hemiptera: Reduviidae) Considering Domestic, Peridomestic, and Sylvatic Vector Populations
Journal of Medical Entomology, 50, 907-915, 2013
Abstract: Disease transmission is difficult to model because most vectors and hosts have different generation times. Chagas disease is such a situation, where insect vectors have 1-2 generations annually and mammalian hosts, including humans, can live for decades. The hemataphagous triatominae vectors (Hemiptera: Reduviidae) of the causative parasite Trypanosoma cruzi (Kinetoplastida: Trypanosomatidae) usually feed on sleeping hosts, making vector infestation of houses, peridomestic areas, and wild animal burrows a central factor in transmission. Because of difficulties with different generation times, we developed a model considering the dwelling as the unit of infection, changing the dynamics from an indirect to a direct transmission model. In some regions, vectors only infest houses; in others, they infest corrals; and in some regions, they also infest wild animal burrows. We examined the effect of sylvatic and peridomestic vector populations on household infestation rates. Both sylvatic and peridomestic vectors increase house infestation rates, sylvatic much more than peridomestic, as measured by the reproductive number R0. The efficacy of manipulating parameters in the model to control vector populations was examined. When R0 > 1, the number of infested houses increases. The presence of sylvatic vectors increases R0 by at least an order of magnitude. When there are no sylvatic vectors, spraying rate is the most influential parameter. Spraying rate is relatively unimportant when there are sylvatic vectors; in this case, community size, especially the ratio of houses to sylvatic burrows, is most important. The application of this modeling approach to other parasites and enhancements of the model are discussed.
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Bongard's work focuses on understanding the general nature of cognition, regardless of whether it is found in humans, animals or robots. This unique approach focuses on the role that morphology and evolution plays in cognition. Addressing these questions has taken him into the fields of biology, psychology, engineering and computer science.
Danforth is an applied mathematician interested in modeling a variety of physical, biological, and social phenomenon. He has applied principles of chaos theory to improve weather forecasts as a member of the Mathematics and Climate Research Network, and developed a real-time remote sensor of global happiness using messages from Twitter: the Hedonometer. Danforth co-runs the Computational Story Lab with Peter Dodds, and helps run UVM's reading group on complexity.
Laurent studies the interaction of structure and dynamics. His research involves network theory, statistical physics and nonlinear dynamics along with their applications in epidemiology, ecology, biology, and sociology. Recent projects include comparing complex networks of different nature, the coevolution of human behavior and infectious diseases, understanding the role of forest shape in determining stability of tropical forests, as well as the impact of echo chambers in political discussions.
Hines' work broadly focuses on finding ways to make electric energy more reliable, more affordable, with less environmental impact. Particular topics of interest include understanding the mechanisms by which small problems in the power grid become large blackouts, identifying and mitigating the stresses caused by large amounts of electric vehicle charging, and quantifying the impact of high penetrations of wind/solar on electricity systems.
Bagrow's interests include: Complex Networks (community detection, social modeling and human dynamics, statistical phenomena, graph similarity and isomorphism), Statistical Physics (non-equilibrium methods, phase transitions, percolation, interacting particle systems, spin glasses), and Optimization(glassy techniques such as simulated/quantum annealing, (non-gradient) minimization of noisy objective functions).