Date of Award
Bachelor of Science
Biochemistry & Molecular Biol.
Tick-borne diseases are increasing in population all across the United States but most notedly in the Mid-Atlantic states. A particular pathogen-vector pair, Amblyomma maculatum also known as the Gulf Coast Tick, and the bacteria Rickettsia parkeri have become more of a public health concern over the past couple of years. Therefore understanding the dynamics of this system is necessary to effectively control and prevent disease in human populations. A mathematical model was created and coded in MATLAB to understand this system. Through three analytical tools (percent change, sensitivity analysis, and elasticity analysis) the outputs of the model were analyzed. Infected ticks in the larva life stage were shown to have a large population change with respect to the tested parameters. Additionally, host survival probabilities were shown to make distinctions between susceptible eggs and infected eggs. The findings from this model will help guide health officials to make more informed decisions in controlling tick populations.
Pak, Rachel, "Development of a Mathematical Model for Rickettsia parkeri in Amblyomma maculatum (Gulf Coast tick)" (2023). Honors Theses. 1684.
Available for download on Saturday, June 24, 2028