A model of Leptospirosis infection in an African rodent to determine risk to humans: seasonal fluctuations and the impact of rodent control

Holt, J, Davis, S and Leirs, H 2006, 'A model of Leptospirosis infection in an African rodent to determine risk to humans: seasonal fluctuations and the impact of rodent control', Acta Tropica, vol. 99, no. 23, pp. 218-225.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title A model of Leptospirosis infection in an African rodent to determine risk to humans: seasonal fluctuations and the impact of rodent control
Author(s) Holt, J
Davis, S
Leirs, H
Year 2006
Journal name Acta Tropica
Volume number 99
Issue number 23
Start page 218
End page 225
Total pages 8
Publisher Elsevier Science
Abstract Human leptospirosis (Leptospira spp. infection) is a worldwide public health problem that is of greatest concern for humid tropical and subtropical regions. The magnitude of the problem in these areas is larger because of the climatic and environmental conditions the bacterium face outside their hosts but also because of the frequency of contacts between people and sources of infection. Rodents are thought to play the most important role in the transmission of human leptospirosis. We here model the dynamics of infection in an African rodent (Mastomys natalensis) that is thought to be the principal source of infection in parts of Tanzania. Our model, representing the climatic conditions in central Tanzania, suggests a strong seasonality in the force of infection on humans with a peak in the abundance of infectious mice between January and April in agricultural environments. In urban areas the dynamics are predicted to be more stable and the period of high numbers of infectious animals runs from February to July. Our results indicate that removal of animals by trapping rather than reducing the suitability of the environment for rodents will have the greater impact on reducing human cases of leptospirosis.
Keyword(s) zoonosis
Mastomys natalensis
epidemiology
population dynamics
mathematical model
Tanzania
DOI - identifier 10.1016/j.actatropica.2006.08.003
Copyright notice © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
ISSN 0001-706X
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