Visceral Leishmaniasis on the Indian Subcontinent: Modelling the Dynamic Relationship between Vector Control Schemes and Vector Life Cycles. Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND: Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is a disease caused by two known vector-borne parasite species (Leishmania donovani, L. infantum), transmitted to man by phlebotomine sand flies (species: Phlebotomus and Lutzomyia), resulting in 50,000 human fatalities annually, 67% occurring on the Indian subcontinent. Indoor residual spraying is the current method of sand fly control in India, but alternative means of vector control, such as the treatment of livestock with systemic insecticide-based drugs, are being evaluated. We describe an individual-based, stochastic, life-stage-structured model that represents a sand fly vector population within a village in India and simulates the effects of vector control via fipronil-based drugs orally administered to cattle, which target both blood-feeding adults and larvae that feed on host feces. PRINCIPLE FINDINGS: Simulation results indicated efficacy of fipronil-based control schemes in reducing sand fly abundance depended on timing of drug applications relative to seasonality of the sand fly life cycle. Taking into account cost-effectiveness and logistical feasibility, two of the most efficacious treatment schemes reduced population peaks occurring from April through August by 90% (applications 3 times per year at 2-month intervals initiated in March) and >95% (applications 6 times per year at 2-month intervals initiated in January) relative to no control, with the cumulative number of sand fly days occurring April-August reduced by 83% and 97%, respectively, and more specifically during the summer months of peak human exposure (June-August) by 85% and 97%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Our model should prove useful in a priori evaluation of the efficacy of fipronil-based drugs in controlling leishmaniasis on the Indian subcontinent and beyond.

published proceedings

  • PLoS Negl Trop Dis

altmetric score

  • 89

author list (cited authors)

  • Poch, D. M., Grant, W. E., & Wang, H.

citation count

  • 23

complete list of authors

  • Poché, David M||Grant, William E||Wang, Hsiao-Hsuan

editor list (cited editors)

  • Basáñez, M.

publication date

  • August 2016