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Exciting PhD studentship modelling cystic echinococcosis and evaluating optimal surveillance and control alternatives with @EpiPixels at @UniOfSurrey

Cystic echinococcosis (CE) is a zoonotic parasitic disease of significant public health concern in many parts of the world. For example, over 5,000 new CE cases are reported in South America every year and a recent study has estimated that more than 150,000 people in Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey might be affected by CE. The burden, extending to include economic impacts, is mostly felt in subsistence livestock keepers and other marginalised rural and peri-urban populations where other health competing threats persist.

Risk classification and ranking of administrative units are frequently used to help prioritization of resources for disease control. Whereas risk is a key parameter to inform resource allocation, it often fails to explicitly reflect the level of existing preparedness against the threat of concern, CE in our case. The large number of activities contributing to disease control capability, and their likely heterogeneous implementation across the units of interest, make comparisons of capability performance, for example among administrative units, a complex task.

Our key research objectives are:

  1. The derivation of a comprehensive composite metric of CE susceptibility, and through this, identification of areas of vulnerability and risk where additional investment in control is warranted.

  2. Solve the complex allocation of scarce resources as captured by the large matrix of multiple intervention and surveillance options across multiple spatial units with very different susceptibility baselines (susceptibility estimated from the previous objective).

The model will be developed using data from Rio Negro, Argentina initially, which will then be extended to the whole country and data from various East European countries (such as Bulgaria). The student will work under the supervision of Dr. Joaquin Prada and Dr. Victor del Rio Vilas at Surrey, in collaboration with Dr. Adriano Casulli from ISS and Prof. Edmundo Larrieu from the Universidad Nacional de Rio Negro.

PhD position
University of Surrey
United Kingdom
Closing date
August 18th, 2019
Posted on
July 16th, 2019 14:58
Last updated
July 16th, 2019 14:58