Modelled effects of prawn aquaculture on poverty alleviation and schistosomiasis control

Christopher M. Hoover, Susanne H. Sokolow, Jonas Kemp, James N. Sanchirico, Andrea J. Lund, Isabel J. Jones, Tyler Higginson, Gilles Riveau, Amit Savaya, Shawn Coyle, Chelsea L. Wood, Fiorenza Micheli, Renato Casagrandi, Lorenzo Mari, Marino Gatto, Andrea Rinaldo, Javier Perez-Saez, Jason R. Rohr, Amir Sagi, Justin V. RemaisGiulio A. De Leo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Recent evidence suggests that snail predators may aid efforts to control the human parasitic disease schistosomiasis by eating aquatic snail species that serve as intermediate hosts of the parasite. Here, potential synergies between schistosomiasis control and aquaculture of giant prawns are evaluated using an integrated bioeconomic–epidemiological model. Combinations of stocking density and aquaculture cycle length that maximize cumulative, discounted profit are identified for two prawn species in sub-Saharan Africa: the endemic, non-domesticated Macrobrachium vollenhovenii and the non-native, domesticated Macrobrachium rosenbergii. At profit-maximizing densities, both M. rosenbergii and M. vollenhovenii may substantially reduce intermediate host snail populations and aid schistosomiasis control efforts. Control strategies drawing on both prawn aquaculture to reduce intermediate host snail populations and mass drug administration to treat infected individuals are found to be superior to either strategy alone. Integrated aquaculture-based interventions can be a win–win strategy in terms of health and sustainable development in schistosomiasis endemic regions of the world.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)611-620
Number of pages10
JournalNature Sustainability
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Food Science
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Ecology
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Urban Studies
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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