Chagas Symposium IC-18

“How can modelling contribute to achieving the goals for Chagas disease in the horizon 2020 and beyond?"


Currently accepting participants for Day 2

Registration is FREE but spaces are limited

Email abstract or participation request to:

Date: Feb 14th–16th, 2018

Venue: Imperial College London, South Kensington Campus

Organising Committee

Name Organisation
Prof María Gloria Basañez Imperial College London, UK
Dr Pierre Nouvellet Sussex University, UK
Dr Zulma Cucunubá Imperial College London, UK
Dr Julia Halder Imperial College London, UK
Mr Denys Prociuk Imperial College London, UK
Miss Kate Bilsborrow Imperial College London, UK
Prof Andy Dobson Princeton University, USA
Dr Luis Gerardo Castellanos Pan-American Health Organization USA

Chagas disease remains as a major cause of heart disease morbidity and mortality in Latin American countries. In the last three decades, most endemic countries have made great strides towards the control of Chagas disease by implementing mainly vector and blood transfusion control. However, the impact of such interventions has, by and large, not been rigorously quantified, and questions remain as how to address old and new challenges as countries progress towards the goals proposed by the World Health Organization (WHO) in the horizon 2020 and beyond. These goals aim to achieve interruption of intra-domiciliary (vectorial) transmission in all endemic countries and to have all infected/ill patients under care. However, estimates of the current status of intra-domiciliary transmission and burden of disease in endemic countries remain poorly documented, making it difficult to ascertain progress, identify areas that need strengthening, and make programmatic decisions about deploying the most cost-effective interventions.

The Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at Imperial College London in collaboration with Princeton University and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) is convening a symposium funded by the Neglected Tropical Disease Modelling Consortium to define overarching challenges and research priorities, explore opportunities, develop collaborations, and build strategies towards a research agenda for rigorous mathematical modelling to help measure and inform progress on control and elimination of Chagas disease in Latin America.

Specifically, discussions will be centred around the theme of how can mathematical models help to highlight country programme priorities and measure the progress made, and how can endemic countries help to inform the models and make best use of them to plan, deploy and evaluate country-specific and cost-effective interventions.

The meeting will bring together representatives of international organizations, scientific researchers, programme managers, non-government and non-profit organizations, industry partners, government representatives, and community stakeholders to identify and articulate opportunities for long-term, impactful, and country-relevant collaborative research.

Time event venue
Day 1 (14th February) Afternoon: Closed meeting PAHO–Imperial College London–Princeton University 58 Prince’s Gate SW7 2PG
Day 2 (15th February) Invited talks on the epidemiological situation and control status of Chagas disease in Latin America, with the aim of identifying pressing gaps and discussing the role of mathematical modelling in bridging these gaps 170 Queen’s Gate SW7 5HF
Day 3 (16th February) Workshop (breakout sessions) and discussion for the preparation of a Meeting Report on “How can Chagas disease modelling best assist endemic countries to reach their control and elimination goals in the horizon 2020 and beyond” 58 Prince’s Gate SW7 2PG

Day 2 (Research Talks)

Date: Thursday 15 February

Venue: 170 Queen’s Gate SW7 5HF

Topics/Talks Confirmed Speakers Time Slot
Welcome and Introduction to the Symposium Prof Maria-Gloria Basáñez & Prof Andy Dobson 8:45 – 9:00
Inaugural Talk: The situation of control programmes in endemic countries and an update of the results obtained (La situación de los programas de control en los países endémicos y los resultados por ellos obtenidos) Dr Luis Gerardo Castellanos (PAHO) 9:00 – 9:30
Models for Neglected Tropical Diseases and the NTD Modelling Consortium Prof Déirdre Hollingsworth (Oxford) 9:30 - 9:50
Epidemiological modelling with particular reference to the triatomine vectors Dr Sébastien Gourbière (France) 9:50 - 10:10
Molecular phylogeography of Chagas disease vectors Prof María Dolores Bargues (Spain) 10:10 - 10:30
Coffee/Tea break/networking/posters   10:30 - 11:30
Role of sylvatic transmission Dr Fernando Abad-Franch (Brazil) 11:30 - 11:50
Interventions and models in urban settings Prof Michael Levy (USA–Peru) 11:50 - 12:10
Experiences from the field I: current Chagas disease needs when interruption of intra-domiciliary transmission has been achieved Dr Renato Vieira Alves (Brazil) 12:10 - 12:30
Experiences from the field II: current Chagas disease needs when interruption of intra-domiciliary transmission has not been achieved Mr Mauricio Vera (Colombia) 12:30 - 12:50
Experiences from the field III: how field trials can inform key aspects of Chagas disease modelling Dr Orin Courtenay (Warwick) 12:50 - 13:10
Lunch break/networking/posters   13:10 - 14:10
Force of infection, disease burden an impact of interventions for Dengue at a global level using machine learning methods Dr Lorenzo Cattarino (Imperial College) 14:10- 14:30
Meta-analysis of the parasitological and clinical effects of benznidazole and nifurtimox as treatments for Chagas disease Dr Juan Carlos Villar (Colombia) 14:30 - 14:50
Progress on diagnostics and treatments for Chagas disease: from patient needs to population impact Dr Sergio Sosa Estani (DNDi) 14:50 - 15:10
Cost-effectiveness of treatment interventions in non-endemic countries Dr Elisa Sicuri (Imperial College London) 15:10 – 15:30
Closure Talk: From incidence to disease burden: how models can help to quantify the number of Chagas disease cases in Latin America Dr Zulma Cucunubá (Imperial College London) 15:30 – 16:00
Coffee/tea break/networking/posters   16:00 - 17:00
Presentation on the structure, logistics and objectives of Day 3 Dr Pierre Nouvellet & Prof Maria-Gloria Basáñez 17:00 – 17:30
Reception/Drinks/Canapés Dinner/Networking plenary 17:45 – 20:00

Day 3: Workshop (breakout sessions)

Date: Friday 16 February

Venue: 58 Prince’s Gate SW7 2PG

Workshop and discussion for the preparation of a Meeting Report on “How can Chagas disease modelling best assist endemic countries to reach their control and elimination goals in the horizon 2020 and beyond”

Potential breakout sessions (according to number of participants attending day 3 and topics chosen). Invitees will be offered the option of signing up for preferred break-out sessions but also given the possibility of contributing to more than one session. The aim of the sessions is to discuss in working (brainstorming) groups and report to a plenary (p.m.) on the question of “Identifying research gaps and highlighting the role of mathematical modelling” in the areas of:

The conclusions of the breakout sessions that will take place in the morning will be reported in a Plenary to take place after lunch and will serve the basis for a section on identification of gaps and delineation of a research agenda for the Meeting Report paper. It is envisaged that this paper will be multi-authored by the symposium participants and will serve as a platform to establish and strengthen collaborative research.

Plenary 1: 9:00 – 10:00 am

Landscape funding for further Chagas disease work: This will start with a small presentation about possible funding sources (e.g. Wellcome Trust Collaborative Award) followed by an open dialogue among all participants to discuss ideas for funding.

Breakout sessions: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm (with coffee/tea break and lunch provided)

The participants will form working groups to discuss, for each specific topic, the following points:

  1. A brief summary of what is known, state-of-the-art knowledge on the subject and whether and how should this current knowledge be incorporated into mathematical models and why this would be important (which specific questions would be addressed with models)

  2. Identification of research/programmatic gaps that need to be bridged and whether and how should this information be incorporated into mathematical models and why this would be important (which specific questions would be addressed with models with data that still need to be collated or collected)

  3. Identification of existing data sources that have been under-explored or under-exploited and that would need to be collated, curated and shared to bridge gaps identified in (2). Identification of field biologists, epidemiologists, practitioners, programme managers, etc. with whom it would be necessary to formulate and agree Memoranda of Understanding

  4. Identification of data that would need to be collected de novo to address gaps identified in (2), where (particular countries, settings, distinct epidemiologies/vectors, etc.), when (seasonal factors, timing of collection, etc.), with whom (collaborators and stakeholders to be identified, etc.) and how to proceed

Each breakout group would have a rapporteur who will synthesize the views and conclusions of the group and will report these to a Plenary 2 session in the form of a Power Point presentation summarising the group’s recommendations for a basic/operational research agenda to improve knowledge and control of Chagas disease through enhancing collaboration.

Suggested breakout working groups:

Vector ecology, transmission, control and other interventions:

Prof María Dolores Bargues
Prof Michael Levy
Dr Fernando Abad-Franch
Dr Sébastien Gourbière
Dr Orin Courtenay
Dr Renato Vieira Alves
Mr Mauricio Vera
Prof María Gloria Basáñez (Rapporteur)

Diagnostics & Treatment:

Dr Juan Carlos Villar
Dr Sergio Sosa Estani
Prof Déirdre Hollingsworth
Prof Andy Dobson
Dr Julia Halder (Rapporteur)

Disease burden and economic evaluations:

Dr Luis Gerardo Castellanos
Dr Pierre Nouvellet
Dr Elisa Sicuri
Dr Zulma M. Cucunubá
Dr Fernando Abad-Franch
Mr Denys Prociuk (Rapporteur)

Plenary 2: 2:00 – 3:00 pm

All working groups report in the plenary and present the results of their deliberations

Plenary 3: 3:00 – 4:30 pm (coffee/tea break provided)

Discussion for Meeting Report: Target journal
Formation of writing groups
Identification of participants leading the writing of constituent sections
Group Authorship for paper (authors and details at the end of paper)

Group photo

Closure of meeting and future directions

Contact information

For any enquire about the event, please email:

Dr Zulma M. Cucunubá

Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology

Imperial College London

Photo caption: Children attending Chagas sero-prevalence study in Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia. Photo kindly shared by Dr Carlos Valencia, Colombia.