Status update October 2008

Message boards : Malaria Control : Status update October 2008

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We would like to point you to two more articles that we have published recently:

What Should Vaccine Developers Ask? Simulation of the Effectiveness of Malaria Vaccines

These are the first results of a study using computer simulations to predict the epidemiological impact of potential malaria vaccines. Currently there are a number of malaria vaccines in clinical and pre-clinical development, targeting different stages in the life-cycle of Plasmodium falciparum; the parasite responsible for the most severe form of the disease. The published predictions raise several issues for vaccine clinical development, in particular the suitability of each vaccine type for different transmission settings; the minimal duration of protection required for vaccines to have a worthwhile impact; the need for clinical development plans to assess transmission to the mosquito vector; and the suggestion that deployment of vaccines outside established distribution channels like the Expanded Program in Immunization (EPI) can provide substantial benefit.

Towards a comprehensive simulation model of malaria epidemiology and control

This paper is an outline of the modeling approach behind our project. Because this was an invited paper, it is not published in an open access journal, and therefore the full-text version is currently only available to subscribers. Please send me a private message if you are interested in a reprint.

We are currently sending out the last workunits for another simulation study. The workunits names start with wu_18* and wu_19* and are part of an extensive probabilistic sensitivity analysis. For this, we perturb model input parameters and observe the impact of these perturbations on the predicted outcomes. The goal of this is to find out how stable the model predictions are, and which parameters are likely to be important drivers of the system. This is an important use of mathematical models. In the case of infectious disease models, this can potentially point to gaps in the data necessary for the rational planning of interventions, and thereby inform the priorization of research efforts.

In addition we are preparing workunits for a study that will compare different model versions, for which we are still in the process of parameter estimation. We expect that the need for CPU will decrease over the next few months, and will close account creation next Monday, Oct. 13th.

Nicolas Maire
Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute

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Message boards : Malaria Control : Status update October 2008

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