A Scoping Review of Mathematical Models Used to Investigate the Role of Dogs in Chagas Disease Transmission.
Additional Document Info
Chagas disease is a zoonotic vector-borne disease caused by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, which affects a variety of mammalian species across the Americas, including humans and dogs. Mathematical modeling has been widely used to investigate the transmission dynamics and control of vector-borne diseases. We performed a scoping review of mathematical models that investigated the role of dogs in T. cruzi transmission. We identified ten peer-reviewed papers that have explicitly modeled the role of dogs in Chagas transmission dynamics. We discuss the different methods employed in these studies, the different transmission metrics, disease transmission routes, and disease control strategies that have been considered and evaluated. In general, mathematical modeling studies have shown that dogs are not only at high risk of T. cruzi infection but are also major contributors to T. cruzi transmission to humans. Moreover, eliminating infected dogs from households or frequent use of insecticide was shown to be effective for curtailing T. cruzi transmission in both humans and dogs. However, when insecticide spraying is discontinued, T. cruzi infections in dogs were shown to return to their pre-spraying levels. We discuss the challenges and opportunities for future modeling studies to improve our understanding of Chagas disease transmission dynamics and control.