Impact and cost-effectiveness of snail control to achieve disease control targets for schistosomiasis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Lo, N. C., Gurarie, D., Yoon, N., Coulibaly, J. T., Bendavid, E., Andrews, J. R., King, C. H. 2018

Abstract

Schistosomiasis is a parasitic disease that affects over 240 million people globally. To improve population-level disease control, there is growing interest in adding chemical-based snail control interventions to interrupt the lifecycle of Schistosoma in its snail host to reduce parasite transmission. However, this approach is not widely implemented, and given environmental concerns, the optimal conditions for when snail control is appropriate are unclear. We assessed the potential impact and cost-effectiveness of various snail control strategies. We extended previously published dynamic, age-structured transmission and cost-effectiveness models to simulate mass drug administration (MDA) and focal snail control interventions against Schistosoma haematobium across a range of low-prevalence (5-20%) and high-prevalence (25-50%) rural Kenyan communities. We simulated strategies over a 10-year period of MDA targeting school children or entire communities, snail control, and combined strategies. We measured incremental cost-effectiveness in 2016 US dollars per disability-adjusted life year and defined a strategy as optimally cost-effective when maximizing health gains (averted disability-adjusted life years) with an incremental cost-effectiveness below a Kenya-specific economic threshold. In both low- and high-prevalence settings, community-wide MDA with additional snail control reduced total disability by an additional 40% compared with school-based MDA alone. The optimally cost-effective scenario included the addition of snail control to MDA in over 95% of simulations. These results support inclusion of snail control in global guidelines and national schistosomiasis control strategies for optimal disease control, especially in settings with high prevalence, "hot spots" of transmission, and noncompliance to MDA.

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