Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Abstract Background In view of the current global coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, mass drug administration interventions for neglected tropical diseases, including lymphatic filariasis (LF), have been halted. We used mathematical modelling to estimate the impact of delaying or cancelling treatment rounds and explore possible mitigation strategies. Methods We used three established LF transmission models to simulate infection trends in settings with annual treatment rounds and programme delays in 2020 of 6, 12, 18 or 24 months. We then evaluated the impact of various mitigation strategies upon resuming activities. Results The delay in achieving the elimination goals is on average similar to the number of years the treatment rounds are missed. Enhanced interventions implemented for as little as 1 y can allow catch-up on the progress lost and, if maintained throughout the programme, can lead to acceleration of up to 3 y. Conclusions In general, a short delay in the programme does not cause a major delay in achieving the goals. Impact is strongest in high-endemicity areas. Mitigation strategies such as biannual treatment or increased coverage are key to minimizing the impact of the disruption once the programme resumes and lead to potential acceleration should these enhanced strategies be maintained.

Original publication





Transactions of The Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene


Oxford University Press (OUP)

Publication Date





261 - 268