Celebrating Dr. Ngwa's 55th birthday with talks honoring his mathematical modeling work including malaria mosquitoes.

Wednesday, June 16 at 11:30am (PDT)
Wednesday, June 16 at 07:30pm (BST)
Thursday, June 17 03:30am (KST)

SMB2021 SMB2021 Follow Tuesday (Wednesday) during the "MS14" time block.
Note: this minisymposia has multiple sessions. The second session is MS07-MEPI (click here).

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Miranda Teboh-Ewungkem (Lehigh University, United States), Calistus N. Ngonghala, (University of Florida, Gainsville, FL, United States), Jude D. Kong (York University, Toronto, ON, Canada,, Canada)


Mathematical Biology has been growing on the African Continent. It has required contributions and sacrifices from many that have shaped the lives and career paths of young mathematicians and shown new directions to others. Since graduating from the University of Oxford with his PhD in 1993 under the supervision of Prof. Phillip Maini, Prof. Gideon Ngwa made the conscious decision to return to Cameroon and initiated Mathematical Biology at the University of Buea. That activity has led to more than 15 graduate students, many of whom have gone on to obtain a PhD in Mathematics or Applied Mathematics with focus in Mathematical Biology. It has laid a foundation that is solid and growing and generated a new group of researchers, making an impact. Additionally, Prof. Ngwa introduced the mathematical understanding of the malaria mosquito dynamics with his pioneering paper in Malaria, work commenced during the Masters Dissertation of Teboh-Ewungkem and work that has formed the basis of different PhD dissertations in the US, UK and Africa. This session combines research and mathematical talks from contributors who have been associated with Prof. Gideon Ngwa in one way or another and shines light on Mathematical Biology research on the continent of Africa.

Ian Frigaard

(University of British Columbia, Canada)
"Yield stress fluids and G.A. Ngwa"
Yield stress fluids have broad applications in industrial and geophysical flows, ranging from food processing to industrial slurries and river-bed mud. They also come into play biologically in the lung pathways, in mammalian reproduction, in mucus barriers and in blood flow. Here we review key dynamical features of these fluids, difficulties in application and their biological relevance.

Abba B. Gumel

(Arizona State University, School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences, United States)
"Mathematics of population biology of malaria mosquitoes and disease: a genetic-epidemiology modeling framework"
Malaria, a deadly infectious disease caused by the Plasmodium parasite transmitted to humans via the bite from infected adult female Anopheles mosquitoes, continues to exude significant public health and socio-economic burden globally (causing over 200 million cases and in excess of 400,000 deaths annually). In his pioneering work on modeling population abundance of mosquitoes, G. Ngwa noted, in the early 1990s, that deep understanding of the population dynamics of mosquitoes is very crucial to providing insight and understanding on the transmission dynamics and control of the diseases they cause. In line with the Ngwa ``follow the mosquito' philosophy, I will present mathematical models, mostly of the form of genetic-epidemiology, deterministic system of nonlinear differential equations, for understanding the population ecology and control of malaria mosquitoes and disease, using insecticide-based and biological interventions. We will explore the feasibility of achieving the concerted global effort to eradicate malaria by 2040 using currently available mosquito control and management strategies.

Gwendolyn B. Fru

(University of Buea, Cameroon)
"Mathematical modelling of the pharmacokinetics of antimalarial drugs under different treatment regimes"
Mathematical models are used to study how antimalarial drugs interact with the human body when administered through different modes. The developed models capture the parameters which identify with the way antimalarial drugs cure humans during treatment. Drug administration by intravenous infusion and oral therapy are considered, with the classification of antimalarial drugs into two categories; drugs which exhibit their antimalarial activity in their primary form and drugs which together with their metabolites exhibit antimalarial activity. The models also consider the drug concentration in the different compartments comprising the gut (solely in the case of oral administration of drug), plasma and red blood cells, with the considerations of drug diffusing out of the red blood cells solely as byproducts of metabolism and in another case, diffusing both as byproducts of metabolism and in their original form. Results display the variations in drug concentrations in the respective compartments when the drugs are administered. A simple within human host model for the Plasmodium parasite is developed and treatment is eventually added to the model giving a Drug Model. It is shown that both in the Drug - free and Drug Models, the disease free steady state always exists and is globally stable. The disease steady state of the Drug Model is parameterized as functions of drug concentration in the infected red blood cells, and it is shown that if drug concentration in the infected red blood cells exceed the minimum therapeutic level the densities of the infected red blood cells as well as the free floating parasites vanish. Thus curing of the infection has taken place.

Kristan Alexander Schneider

(Hochschule Mittweida, University of Applied Sciences, Germany)
"Modelling COVID-19 in Africa"
With the massive COVID-19 crisis in India, worries were raised that Africa could be affected similarly in the near future. More infectious SARS-CoV-2 variants that are more likely to cause symptomatic episodes in younger people and are emerging and spreading. This is particularly dangerous since some of the approved vaccines do not properly immunize against new variants. Hence, such mutations have potentially catastrophic effects for the African continent, characterized by a young population. Predictive SEIR models can be employed as decision support tools for COVID-19 management. Realistic models, applicable for the African continent, must take the age and spatial structures of the countries into account as well as the possibilities of different viral variants and available vaccines. Here, we introduce an age and spatially stratified COVID-19 model that explicitly takes the age-dependent contact behavior, different SARS-CoV-2 variants, and vaccination strategies into account.

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Virtual conference of the Society for Mathematical Biology, 2021.