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A systematic review of mathematical models of mosquito-borne pathogen transmission: 1970-2010.

  • Author(s): Reiner, Robert C
  • Perkins, T Alex
  • Barker, Christopher M
  • Niu, Tianchan
  • Chaves, Luis Fernando
  • Ellis, Alicia M
  • George, Dylan B
  • Le Menach, Arnaud
  • Pulliam, Juliet RC
  • Bisanzio, Donal
  • Buckee, Caroline
  • Chiyaka, Christinah
  • Cummings, Derek AT
  • Garcia, Andres J
  • Gatton, Michelle L
  • Gething, Peter W
  • Hartley, David M
  • Johnston, Geoffrey
  • Klein, Eili Y
  • Michael, Edwin
  • Lindsay, Steven W
  • Lloyd, Alun L
  • Pigott, David M
  • Reisen, William K
  • Ruktanonchai, Nick
  • Singh, Brajendra K
  • Tatem, Andrew J
  • Kitron, Uriel
  • Hay, Simon I
  • Scott, Thomas W
  • Smith, David L
  • et al.

Mathematical models of mosquito-borne pathogen transmission originated in the early twentieth century to provide insights into how to most effectively combat malaria. The foundations of the Ross-Macdonald theory were established by 1970. Since then, there has been a growing interest in reducing the public health burden of mosquito-borne pathogens and an expanding use of models to guide their control. To assess how theory has changed to confront evolving public health challenges, we compiled a bibliography of 325 publications from 1970 through 2010 that included at least one mathematical model of mosquito-borne pathogen transmission and then used a 79-part questionnaire to classify each of 388 associated models according to its biological assumptions. As a composite measure to interpret the multidimensional results of our survey, we assigned a numerical value to each model that measured its similarity to 15 core assumptions of the Ross-Macdonald model. Although the analysis illustrated a growing acknowledgement of geographical, ecological and epidemiological complexities in modelling transmission, most models during the past 40 years closely resemble the Ross-Macdonald model. Modern theory would benefit from an expansion around the concepts of heterogeneous mosquito biting, poorly mixed mosquito-host encounters, spatial heterogeneity and temporal variation in the transmission process.

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