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Bull World Health Organ. 1974;50(3-4):347-57.

A malaria model tested in the African savannah.


A new mathematical model of malaria has been developed for comparing the effects of alternative control measures. It describes both the temporal changes of the P. falciparum infection rate and the immunity level of the population as a function of the dynamics and characteristics of the vector populations, which are summarized in the concept of vectorial capacity. A critical vectorial capacity is specified, below which malaria cannot maintain itself at an endemic level. The model has been tested with epidemiological data collected in a WHO research project in the African Savannah, Kano State, Northern Nigeria, since October 1970. The estimates of the model parameters were obtained by minimizing the chi(2) function that measures the discrepancy between the observed and expected age-specific parasite rates in the two villages with the highest and the lowest vectorial capacity, respectively, at five surveys during one year of baseline data collection and between the observed and expected infant inoculation rates, in the main transmission seasons, in the same two villages. The model describes three aspects of immunity: loss of infectivity, loss of detectability, and increase of recovery rate. It is assumed that loss of infectivity precedes loss of detectability and increase of recovery rate. Superinfections are slowing down the recovery for high inoculation rates but do not reduce them to zero. They do not increase infectivity.

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