Dr Klodeta Kura
Dr Klodeta Kura a mathematical modeller working at the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at Imperial College London where she models the transmission of schistosomiasis. Schistosomiasis inflicts significant levels of human morbidity and mortality in regions of the world with endemic infection. Individuals become infected when cercariae (larval forms of the parasitic worms), released by an intermediate host (various freshwater snail species), penetrate the skin during contact with contaminated water. Control programmes are at present based on mass drug administration (MDA) and behaviour modification directed at reducing water contact and improvement in sanitation.
Within Dr Kura's work, using deterministic and individual-based stochastic models, she asseses the effect of MDA and examines whether we can achieve the WHO goals of morbidity control and elimination by using the current guidelines. In cases where these guidelines do not appear to be sufficient, programmatic adaptations are suggested that could be implemented to increase the probability of achieving the WHO goals.
Dr Kura is also working on assessing the impact of a candidate vaccine (Sm-p80), used either alone or in combination with MDA, when applied in endemic regions with different intensities of transmission.