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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 810380, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/810380
Research Article

Estimating the Optimal Control of Zoonotic Visceral Leishmaniasis by the Use of a Mathematical Model

1School of Medicine, University of São Paulo and LIM 01-HCFMUSP, Avenida Dr. Arnaldo 455, 01246-903 São Paulo, SP, Brazil
2London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of London, UK

Received 30 April 2013; Accepted 9 July 2013

Academic Editors: F. Henriquez, J. F. Lindo, and J. Lorenzo-Morales

Copyright © 2013 Laila Massad Ribas et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

We argue that the strategy of culling infected dogs is not the most efficient way to control zoonotic visceral leishmaniasis (ZVL) and that, in the presence of alternative control strategies with better potential results, official programs of compulsory culling adopted by some countries are inefficient and unethical. We base our arguments on a mathematical model for the study of control strategies against ZVL, which allows the comparison of the efficacies of 5, alternative strategies. We demonstrate that the culling program, previously questioned on both theoretical and practical grounds is the less effective control strategy. In addition, we show that vector control and the use of insecticide-impregnated dog collars are, by far, more efficient at reducing the prevalence of ZVL in humans.