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Weather-based computer experiments on parasites

Gettinby, G. and Byrom, W. (1991) Weather-based computer experiments on parasites. Preventive Veterinary Medicine, 11 (3-4). pp. 293-308. ISSN 0167-5877

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Many parasitic diseases of man and animals are directly or indirectly influenced by weather, yet the relationship between prevalence and meteorological variables is poorly understood. Site-specific population models, constructed from experimental data, can be combined with computer simulation techniques to mimic the behaviour of parasites over a range of climatic conditions. This article describes the relationship between environmental factors and some parasitic diseases of animals. In particular, it presents some results of computer experiments with disease models to estimate the sensitivity of host-vector-parasite systems to environmental changes. The findings support the view that computer models, used in conjunction with geographical information systems (GIS) and environmental data bases, offer new prospects for the management of parasitic diseases.