Modelling the dynamics of jiggers infestation: insights from a theoretical model

N. Imbusi Matendechere, W. N. Mutuku, F. Nyabadza

Abstract


Tungiasis is a parasitic skin disease caused by jiggers, also known as sand fleas. The disease predominantly affects impoverished populations living in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean and South America. Mathematical models have been used for decades to inform public health policies and have been useful for the evaluation of control strategies and interventions. In this paper we consider a deterministic model with four compartments that represent the dynamics of the human population and a stage-structured model for the flea. The model equilibria are computed and stability analyses carried out based on the reproduction number R0. Sensitivity analysis is carried out on the model parameters and it is observed that the epidemic is driven by infested humans and the survival of the flea through its developmental stages. The model points to a focused control of the flea through larvicides and treatment of infested humans. The paper is concluded by discussing the public health implications of the mathematical results.

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How to Cite this Article:

N. Imbusi Matendechere, W. N. Mutuku, F. Nyabadza, Modelling the dynamics of jiggers infestation: insights from a theoretical model, Journal of Mathematical and Computational Science, Vol 9, No 4 (2019), 473-500

Copyright © 2019 N. Imbusi Matendechere, W. N. Mutuku, F. Nyabadza. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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