Slaving and release in co-infection control

Yakob, Laith, Williams, Gail M., Gray, Darren J., Halton, Kate, Solon, Juan A., & Clements, Archie C.A. (2013) Slaving and release in co-infection control. Parasites & Vectors, 6(157).

View at publisher (open access)



Animal and human infection with multiple parasite species is the norm rather than the exception, and empirical studies and animal models have provided evidence for a diverse range of interactions among parasites. We demonstrate how an optimal control strategy should be tailored to the pathogen community and tempered by species-level knowledge of drug sensitivity with use of a simple epidemiological model of gastro-intestinal nematodes.


We construct a fully mechanistic model of macroparasite co-infection and use it to explore a range of control scenarios involving chemotherapy as well as improvements to sanitation.


Scenarios are presented whereby control not only releases a more resistant parasite from antagonistic interactions, but risks increasing co-infection rates, exacerbating the burden of disease. In contrast, synergisms between species result in their becoming epidemiologically slaved within hosts, presenting a novel opportunity for controlling drug resistant parasites by targeting co-circulating species.


Understanding the effects on control of multi-parasite species interactions, and vice versa, is of increasing urgency in the advent of integrated mass intervention programmes.

Impact and interest:

6 citations in Scopus
4 citations in Web of Science®
Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

28 since deposited on 19 Aug 2014
8 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 75188
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: nematode, mathematical model, infectious disease, epidemiology, drug resistance, next generation matrix
DOI: 10.1186/1756-3305-6-157
ISSN: 1756-3305
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES (010000) > APPLIED MATHEMATICS (010200) > Applied Mathematics not elsewhere classified (010299)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > CLINICAL SCIENCES (110300) > Infectious Diseases (110309)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Epidemiology (111706)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified (111799)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 Yakob et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Copyright Statement: This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Deposited On: 19 Aug 2014 00:42
Last Modified: 07 May 2015 22:56

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page