NIMBioS: New Methods Help Advance Infectious Disease Forecasting

An Anopheles stephensi mosquito is a vector of malaria, and mosquito control is an effective way of reducing its incidence. New methods have been developed to detect the onset of critical transitions in infectious disease epidemics, such as malaria. Credit: CDC

An Anopheles stephensi mosquito is a vector of malaria, and mosquito control is an effective way of reducing its incidence. New methods have been developed to detect the onset of critical transitions in infectious disease epidemics, such as malaria. Credit: CDC

While tremendous progress has been made to eliminate malaria worldwide, about 3.2 billion people—nearly half the world’s population—are at risk of the disease, according to the World Health Organization. New tools to help advance infectious disease forecasting are needed.

A study from the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS) develops new methods to detect the onset of critical transitions in infectious disease epidemics, such as malaria.

The method developed in the study, which was published in the journal Theoretical Ecology, identifies the critical slowing-down period in human cases of the mosquito-borne parasite that causes malaria, suggesting that eradicating the disease could be anticipated even without a full of understanding of the underlying mechanisms that are causing the slow down. Continue reading on the NIMBioS website.