Modeling wildlife vaccination – Graduate Student Researcher

Yale University
New Haven, CT

Predicted outcomes of vaccinating wildlife to reduce human risk of Lyme disease (published article)

Working primarily in MATLAB, I created a dynamic model to explore the effects of vaccinating wildlife hosts against the bacterial agent of Lyme Disease on human risk of exposure.

I found that the importance of vaccinating mice was low relative to the number of tick bites humans receive, and that the latter can easily swamp out any effects of the former. These findings suggest that if wildlife vaccination is going to be implemented, tick population control and prevention of tick bites should also be addressed to maximize risk reduction.