Mathematical modelling of Toxoplasma gondii transmission: a systematic review

Huifang Deng, Rachel Cummins, Gereon Schares, Chiara Trevisan, Heidi Enemark, Helga Waap, Jelena Srbljanovic, Olgica Djurkovic-Djakovic, Sara Monteiro Pires, Joke W. B. van der Giessen, Marieke Opsteegh

    Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review

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    Background: Toxoplasma gondii is a ubiquitous protozoan parasite that can infect virtually all warm-blooded animals. It is the causative agent of toxoplasmosis, a significant public health issue worldwide. Mathematical models are useful to study the transmission dynamics of T. gondii infection in different settings, and may be used to compare the effectiveness of prevention measures.

    Methods: To obtain an overview of existing mathematical models for transmission of T. gondii, a systematic review was undertaken. The review was conducted according to an a priori protocol and the results were reported according to the PRISMA guidelines. Specific search terms were developed and used in the search of three databases (Scopus, PubMed, and Embase).

    Results: In total, 484 unique records were retrieved from the systematic search. Among them, 15 studies that used mathematical models to study the transmission of T. gondii. These studies were categorized into four groups based on the primary aims: dynamics of transmission ( n = 8), intervention ( n = 5), spatial distribution ( n = 1), and outbreak investigation (n = 1).

    Conclusions: Considering the high disease burden caused by T. gondii, the number of studies using mathematical models to understand the transmission dynamics of this parasite and to evaluate the effectiveness of intervention measures was only 15. This systematic review provides an overview of existing mathematical models and identifies the data gaps for model building. The results from this study can be helpful for further development of mathematical models and improved understanding of the transmission dynamics of T. gondii infection.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number00102
    JournalFood and Waterborne Parasitology
    Number of pages11
    Publication statusPublished - 2021


    • Zoonoses
    • Mathematical model
    • Toxoplasmosis
    • Transmission
    • Modelling
    • CATS


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