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How much does it cost to prevent and control visceral leishmaniasis in Brazil? Comparing different measures in dogs
Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is an important zoonosis in Brazil. Dogs are considered the main domestic reservoirs of the disease in the country; hence, control measures are focused on these reservoirs. Despite efforts to prevent and control VL, important reductions in disease prevalence and incidence have not been identified, stimulating the development and application of new strategies. The choice and implementation of new control strategies can benefit from the application of mathematical models that allow the simulation of different strategies in different scenarios. Selecting the best strategy to be implemented is also supported by cost-effectiveness studies. Here we used the results of a mathematical model in which scenarios, including isolated use of the vaccine and insecticide-impregnated collar (IIC), both at different coverage rates, were simulated to conduct a cost-effectiveness study. The costs were calculated for each scenario considering a simulation period of four years. Collar application in both infected and non-infected animals was the most cost-effective strategy. For example, to reduce the prevalence in humans and dogs by approximately 70%, the costs ranged from $250,000 and $550,000 for the IICs and vaccination, respectively. Even in the scenario with 40% loss/replacement of IICs, this measure was more advantageous in terms of cost-effectiveness than vaccination. If the vaccine were applied with culling of seropositive tested dogs, then the measure became more effective with a reduced cost compared with the vaccine alone. The use of the three first consecutive vaccine doses had the greatest impact on the cost of the vaccination strategy. The advantage of using IICs is that there is no need for a prior diagnosis, unlike vaccination, reducing costs and facilitating implementation. The present study aims to contribute to strategies to reduce hosts infected with VL by reducing public expenditure.
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