Recent evidence suggests that snail predators may aid efforts to control the human parasitic disease schistosomiasis by eating aquatic snail species that serve as intermediate hosts of the parasite. Here, potential synergies between schistosomiasis control and aquaculture of giant prawns are evaluated using an integrated bioeconomic–epidemiological model. Combinations of stocking density and aquaculture cycle length that maximize cumulative, discounted profit are identified for two prawn species in sub-Saharan Africa: the endemic, non-domesticated Macrobrachium vollenhovenii and the non-native, domesticated Macrobrachium rosenbergii. At profit-maximizing densities, both M. rosenbergii and M. vollenhovenii may substantially reduce intermediate host snail populations and aid schistosomiasis control efforts. Control strategies drawing on both prawn aquaculture to reduce intermediate host snail populations and mass drug administration to treat infected individuals are found to be superior to either strategy alone. Integrated aquaculture-based interventions can be a win–win strategy in terms of health and sustainable development in schistosomiasis endemic regions of the world.
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All data used to conduct this analysis are freely available at https://github.com/cmhoove14/Prawn_fisheries_Public_health, provided in the Supplementary Code and Data folder and available from the corresponding author on request.
All code used to conduct this analysis is freely available at https://github.com/cmhoove14/Prawn_fisheries_Public_health, provided in the Supplementary Code and Data folder and available from the corresponding author on request.
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C.M.H., J.V.R., G.A.D.L., I.J.J., A.J.L., S.H.S., G.R. and J.R.R. were supported by National Institutes of Health grant R01TW010286 (to J.R.R. and J.V.R.). C.M.H. and J.V.R. were additionally supported in part by National Science Foundation ‘Water Sustainability and Climate’ grants (1360330 and 1646708 to J.V.R.), National Institutes of Health grant R01AI125842 (to J.V.R.) and the University of California Multicampus Research Programs and Initiatives award MRP-17-446315 (to J.V.R.). G.A.D.L., I.J.J., A.J.L. and S.H.S. were additionally funded by a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (OPP1114050) and a GDP SEED grant from the Freeman Spogli Institute at Stanford University. G.A.D.L., I.J.J., A.J.L., S.H.S. and J.N.S. were also supported by National Science Foundation ‘Dynamics of Coupled Natural and Human Systems’ grant 1414102. G.A.D.L., S.H.S., C.M.H., J.V.R., J.N.S., R.C., L.M. and M.G. were also supported by NIMBioS through the working group on the Optimal Control of Environmentally Transmitted Disease. J.P.-S. and A.R. acknowledge funds provided by the Swiss National Science Foundation via the project ‘Optimal control of intervention strategies for waterborne disease epidemics’ (200021-172578/1). C.L.W. was supported by the Michigan Society of Fellows at the University of Michigan and by a Sloan Research Fellowship from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. R.C. and L.M. were also supported by Politecnico di Milano through the Polisocial Award programme (project MASTR-SLS).
The authors declare no competing interests.
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Supplementary methods, Tables 1–3, Figs. 1–9 and references 1–25
A ZIP file containing all R code and the data files necessary to reproduce the analysis. This can also be found on GitHub at https://github.com/cmhoove14/Prawn_fisheries_Public_health