Kliniken &… Institute Heidelberger Institut… Groups & Projects Working Groups Research Infectious disease… Modelling of…

Modeling of malaria

Project team: Heiko Becher, Thomas Jänisch, Kerstin Rosenberger

External Collaborators: Martin Eichner, Tübingen

Funding: GRK 793

Funding period: 2005-2011

Mathematical simulation models of Epidemics have a long tradition – especially in the field of malaria epidemiology, where the first mathematical models were developed by Ronald Ross and W. MacDonald.

At present the field of malaria epidemiology is characterized by a large amount of data which is partly contradicting. Competing hypotheses about the relationship between exposure (number of infective mosquito bites per time unit) and response (disease, number of parallel sub clinical infections, level of immunity) do exist.

The aim of our modeling project is to clarify the relationship between exposure and response in malaria epidemiology and to help focus the questions which field-based research projects will have to target in a next step. Thus, modeling as a tool is mainly helpful for the reduction of complexity and for testing the coherence of competing hypothesis.

One special focus of our modeling exercises is the “concert” of mechanisms conferring (semi)immunity in the field of malaria research. With the help of stochastic units built into a larger deterministic computative model we want to test hypotheses about cross-immunity between malaria genotypes and the composition of relevant immune mechanisms in malaria.