A voluntary use of insecticide-treated cattle can eliminate African sleeping sickness

  • Kira Crawford Department of Mathematics and Computer Sciences, Bennett College, Greensboro, NC, USA
  • Aaleah Lancaster Department of Mathematics and Computer Sciences, Bennett College, Greensboro, NC, USA
  • Hyunju Oh Department of Mathematics and Computer Sciences, Bennett College, Greensboro, NC, USA
  • Jan Rychtář Department of Mathematics and Statistics, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC, USA
Keywords: Game theory, vector control, African sleeping sickness, insecticide

Abstract

African sleeping sickness is a vector-borne disease caused by the parasite Trypanosoma brucei. It is transmitted by tsetse flies and one of the most effective strategies to combat the disease is the use of insecticide-treated cattle (ITC). In this paper, we present a game-theoretical model, in which individual farmers choose their own level of ITC in order to maximize their own benefits, effectively balancing the cost of ITC and the risk of their cows contracting the disease. We find that even when the usage of ITC is strictly voluntary, the optimal ITC usage will eliminate the disease when the cost of ITC is not prohibitively large. This is in a sharp contrast with similar scenarios of vaccination games where a voluntary vaccination never eliminates a disease entirely.

Published
2015-12-01
How to Cite
Crawford, Kira, Aaleah Lancaster, Hyunju Oh, and Jan Rychtář. 2015. “A Voluntary Use of Insecticide-Treated Cattle Can Eliminate African Sleeping Sickness”. Letters in Biomathematics 2 (1), 91-101. https://doi.org/10.1080/23737867.2015.1111777.
Section
Research