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Talk Abstract
Treatment-induced Schistosome Genetic Diversity

Zhilan Feng
Department of Mathematics
Purdue University

We develop a new mathematical model for schistosomiasis to study how control measures may affect parasite genetic diversity. We explore the selective forces acting on the schistosome population in various stages of the parasite life cycles. Our model considers the evolutionary dynamics of parasite-host interactions that involve multiple parasite strains and include both definite and intermediate hosts. We show that if parasite reproductions and virulence (parasite-related host death) are linked to parasite resistance to the drug, then drug treatment may play an important role in the development and maintenance of a polymorphism of parasite strains with many different levels of resistance, and selection may lead to lower levels of resistance.

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1998-1999 Mathematics in Biology

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