Project: Investigating combined impacts of interventions against scabies and group A Streptococcus using transmission models
Group A Streptococcus (Streptococcus pyogenes, Strep A) is a ubiquitous pathogen that is a common cause of skin sores and pharyngitis. While often mild, these superficial infections are the precursors of both invasive disease and immune-mediated conditions such as acute rheumatic fever (ARF), rheumatic heart disease (RHD) and acute post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis (APSGN). Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians have some of the highest rates of these diseases globally. One of the main drivers of Strep A infections in these populations is scabies, an infestation of tiny mites that burrow under the skin and cause severe itching. Using an individual-based model, we have recently quantified the benefits of targeting primordial factors associated with an increased risk of Strep A infection as an approach to reduce the burden of the Strep A immune-mediated diseases. Separately, we have developed transmission models to estimate the impact of mass drug administration, a common intervention for neglected tropical diseases, on the prevalence of scabies. This project will develop models that merge the transmission dynamics of both Strep A and scabies, to investigate the combined impacts of controlling scabies through mass drug administration and targeting primordial factors underlying Strep A infections. Results of the modelling will be used to better inform prioritization of intervention strategies against these diseases in Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations.
This project is only open to Australian citizens.
The McVernon group uses established and emerging biostatistical, epidemiologic and modelling methods to address infectious diseases questions of public health relevance. We bring a suite of collaborators from animal health and ecology to provide a ‘One Health’ perspective on emerging human pathogens.