* Construct mathematical models of the immunological and clinical epidemiology of Plasmodium falciparum (P.f.) malaria, and test the model predictions against observations collected independently of this project.
* Use the models for helping to:
a) calculate the expected impact of interventions;
b) improve the design of field intervention trials;
c) identify crucial gaps in knowledge that constrain (a) and (b).
Better simulation models will help to clarify the following issues:
1) Optimal adaptation of control strategies, using currently available methods, to different epidemiological and socio-economic situations, including projections of what could be expected from additional resources;
2) Expected benefits from new tools likely to be technically feasible, including different kinds of vaccines;
3) Optimal development and evaluation strategy of such new tools.
* Review of relevant biological, clinical, and epidemiological knowledge
* Specification of observations to be used as modelling targets:
a) longitudinal data on the behaviour of P.f. infection and disease in individuals after one or more experimental inoculations;
b) longitudinal data on the behaviour of P.f. infection and disease in individuals naturally exposed to repeated inoculation;
c) longitudinal data on the transmission of P.f. and the behaviour of P.f. infection and disease in naturally exposed populations.
* Formulation (and reformulation) and programming of the models.
* Design, performance and evaluation of simulations.
The evaluation will consist primarily of the formal comparison of simulations to observations. The comparisons will suggest revisions of the models' assumptions and parameters values, until an acceptable fit is obtained.
* Formulation of recommendations
The practical implications of the work will be made explicit, leading to recommendations in the following areas: (a) planning of malaria control; (b) evaluation of malaria control programmes and of field trials; (c) epidemiological research; (d) research on statistical methods.
Funding SchemeCON - Coordination of research actions
13998 Marseille Armées
OX3 9DU Oxford/headington
EH9 3JT Edinburgh