Schistosomiasis is a neglected tropical disease, targeted by the World Health Organisation for reduction in morbidity by 2020. It is caused by parasitic flukes that spread through contamination of local water sources. Traditional control focuses on mass drug administration, which kills the majority of adult worms, targeted at school-aged children. However, these drugs do not confer long-term protection and there are concerns over the development of drug resistance. The development of vaccine against schistosomiasis opens the potential for other control methods that could generate long-lasting population-level immunity.
Work in Warwick has used individual-based models, matched to epidemiological data, to compare the cost-effectiveness of mass drug administration with a range of vaccination programs. We conclude that reasonably priced vaccines can be more cost-effective than traditional drugs in high prevalence settings, and can lead to a greater reduction in morbidity over shorter time-scales.
Funded by: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Deirdre Hollingsworth (Oxford)
Roy Anderson (Imperial)
Afzal Siddiqui (Texas)