Understanding transmission and control of the pork tapeworm with CystiAgent: a spatially explicit agent-based model.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Background

The pork tapeworm, Taenia solium, is a serious public health problem in rural low-resource areas of Latin America, Africa and Asia, where the associated conditions of nuerocysticercosis (NCC) and porcine cysticercosis cause substantial health and economic harms. An accurate and validated transmission model for T. solium would serve as an important new tool for control and elimination, as it would allow for comparison of available intervention strategies, and prioritization of the most effective strategies for control and elimination efforts.

Methods

We developed a spatially-explicit agent-based model (ABM) for T. solium ("CystiAgent") that differs from prior T. solium models by including a spatial framework and behavioral parameters such as pig roaming, open human defecation, and human travel. In this article, we introduce the structure and function of the model, describe the data sources used to parameterize the model, and apply sensitivity analyses (Latin hypercube sampling-partial rank correlation coefficient (LHS-PRCC)) to evaluate model parameters.

Results

LHS-PRCC analysis of CystiAgent found that the parameters with the greatest impact on model uncertainty were the roaming range of pigs, the infectious duration of human taeniasis, use of latrines, and the set of "tuning" parameters defining the probabilities of infection in humans and pigs given exposure to T. solium.

Conclusions

CystiAgent is a novel ABM that has the ability to model spatial and behavioral features of T. solium transmission not available in other models. There is a small set of impactful model parameters that contribute uncertainty to the model and may impact the accuracy of model projections. Field and laboratory studies to better understand these key components of transmission may help reduce uncertainty, while current applications of CystiAgent may consider calibration of these parameters to improve model performance. These results will ultimately allow for improved interpretation of model validation results, and usage of the model to compare available control and elimination strategies for T. solium.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Pray, IW; Wakeland, W; Pan, W; Lambert, WE; Garcia, HH; Gonzalez, AE; O'Neal, SE; Cysticercosis Working Group in Peru,

Published Date

  • July 24, 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 13 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 372 -

PubMed ID

  • 32709250

Pubmed Central ID

  • 32709250

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1756-3305

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1756-3305

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1186/s13071-020-04226-8

Language

  • eng