A Model for Chagas Disease with Oral and Congenital Transmission
This work presents a new mathematical model for the domestic transmission of Chagas disease, a parasitic disease affecting humans and other mammals throughout Central and South America. The model takes into account congenital transmission in both humans and domestic mammals as well as oral transmission in domestic mammals. The model has time-dependent coefficients to account for seasonality and consists of four nonlinear differential equations, one of which has a delay, for the populations of vectors, infected vectors, infected humans, and infected mammals in the domestic setting. Computer simulations show that congenital transmission has a modest effect on infection while oral transmission in domestic mammals substantially contributes to the spread of the disease. In particular, oral transmission provides an alternative to vector biting as an infection route for the domestic mammals, who are key to the infection cycle. This may lead to high infection rates in domestic mammals even when the vectors have a low preference for biting them, and ultimately results in high infection levels in humans.
Coffield Jr. D.J., Spagnuolo A.M., Shillor M., Mema E., Pell B., Pruzinsky A., and Zetye A. (2013). A Model for Chagas Disease with Oral and Congenital Transmission. PLoS ONE, 8(6), 1-14.
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