Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineSchool of Public Health

Professor of Neglected Tropical Diseases



+44 (0)20 7594 3295m.basanez Website




G38Medical SchoolSt Mary's Campus





Epidemiology and modelling of indirectly transmitted macroparasites

Motivation: Macroparasites are important causes of morbidity worldwide.  Apart from the direct effects of infection, they may also have immunosuppressive effects that render hosts vulnerable to more lethal pathogens.  Indirectly-transmitted helminth infections are particularly complex.  The lifecycle of these parasites involves more than one host for their transmission; the lifespan of the worms may be long in comparison to that of the hosts, and morbidity is associated with the intensity of infection.  All this poses challenging problems for the development of mathematical frameworks for their population dynamics and the effect on these dynamics of control interventions.

Human onchocerciasis, better known as ‘River blindness’ has been endemic in 34 tropical countries.  Although the Onchocerciasis Control Programme (OCP) in West Africa (1975-2002) has greatly improved the situation in its 11 participating countries, infection by Onchocerca volvulus (the causal agent of River Blindness) still poses an important public health problem in many areas of Africa, Yemen, and Latin America.  In Latin America, the Amazonian focus (between Venezuela and Brazil) has levels of infection prevalence, intensity, and transmission similar to those present in West Africa before the inception of OCP.  Onchocerciasis is one of the Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs).  Collectively, the NTDs impose disease burdens similar to those of HIV and Malaria.  The NTDs include the filariases, the schistosomiases, the soil-transmitted helminthiases, the trypanosomiases and leishmaniases, and bacterial infections such as trachoma, among others. 





Freitas LT, Khan MA, Uddin A, et al., 2024, The lymphatic filariasis treatment study landscape: A systematic review of study characteristics and the case for an individual participant data platform., Plos Negl Trop Dis, Vol:18

Otabil KB, Basáñez M-G, Ankrah B, et al., 2023, Persistence of onchocerciasis and associated dermatologic and ophthalmic pathologies after 27 years of ivermectin mass drug administration in the middle belt of Ghana, Tropical Medicine and International Health, Vol:28, ISSN:1360-2276, Pages:844-854

Forbes K, Basáñez M-G, Hollingsworth TD, et al., 2023, Introduction to the special issue: challenges and opportunities in the fight against neglected tropical diseases: a decade from the London Declaration on NTDs, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Vol:378, ISSN:0962-8436, Pages:1-8

Ledien J, Cucunubá ZM, Parra-Henao G, et al., 2023, From serological surveys to disease burden: a modelling pipeline for Chagas disease., Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Vol:378, ISSN:0962-8436, Pages:1-12

Kura K, Milton P, Hamley JID, et al., 2023, Can mass drug administration of moxidectin accelerate onchocerciasis elimination in Africa?, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Vol:378, ISSN:0962-8436, Pages:1-11

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