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A deterministic model of schistosomiasis with spatial structure
It has been observed in several settings that schistosomiasis is less
prevalent in segments of river with fast current than in those with slow current.
Some believe that this can be attributed to flush-away of intermediate host
snails. However, free-swimming parasite larvae are very active in searching for
suitable hosts, which indicates that the flush-away of larvae may also be very
important. In this paper, the authors establish a model with spatial structure
that characterizes the density change of parasites following the flush-away of
larvae. It is shown that the reproductive number, which is an indicator of
prevalence of parasitism, is a decreasing function of the river current velocity.
Moreover, numerical simulations suggest that the mean parasite load is low
when the velocity of river current flow is sufficiently high.