Human hydatidosis caused by Echinococcus granulosus is endemic in the sheep-rearing regions of Peru. Cystic hydatid disease (CHD) has been recognized as a major public health problem in these areas. Current control programs of Echinococcus granulosus require considerable logistic efforts for a minimum of 20 years if they are to be effective. An interruption in the eradication program before it is completed generally leads to a rapid return to the original levels of infection. Fasttrack alternatives, such as a drastic reduction in the dog population by killing unnecessary dogs may shorten the eradication time to 10 years, but such methods are difficult to implement in countries where dogs are valued highly. This project will seek to improve the efficiency and sustainability of control programs against E. granulosus by: i) focusing the definitive host to characterizing transmission dynamics using longitudinal designs and geographic information systems (GIS); ii) investigating whether the life cycle of E. granulosus can be interrupted by an effective immune response against the worms, and iii) using this epidemiological, geographical, and immunological data to develop a simulation model for E. granulosus transmission and burden of disease. A vaccination program could significantly decrease the population of susceptible dogs and could not only shorten the time to eradication, but also improve the community compliance. Under this TMRC program approach, this component will primarily emphasize the use of new techniques (GPS/GIS, immunological assays, new immunogens, imaging studies, and simulation models) towards improvement of current control/ eradication strategies.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Research Program Projects (P01)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZAI1)
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Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia
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