Clonorchiasis, known as the Chinese liver fluke disease, is caused by Clonorchis sinensis infection with food-borne liver fluke, which is transmitted via snails to freshwater fish and then to human beings or other piscivorous mammals. Clonorchis sinensis infection is mainly related to liver and biliary disorders, especially cholangiocarcinoma, and has an increased human-health impact due to the greater consumption of raw freshwater fish. In this article, we propose a deterministic model to describe the spread of clonorchiasis among human-snail-fish populations and use the model to simulate the data on the numbers of inspected and infected individuals of Foshan City, located in Guangdong Province in the southeast of P.R China, from 1980–2010. Mathematical and numerical analyses of the model are carried out to understand the transmission dynamics of clonorchiasis and explore effective control measures for the local outbreaks of the disease. We find that (i) the transmission of clonorchiasis from cercariae to fish plays a more important role than that from eggs to snails and from fish to humans; (ii) As the cycle of infection-treatment-reinfection continues, it is unlikely that treatment with drugs alone can control and eventually eradicate clonorchiasis. These strongly suggest that a more comprehensive approach needs to include environmental modification in order to break the cercariae-fish transmission cycle, to enhance awareness about the disease, and to improve prevention measures.
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