While discussing attempts (both successful and unsuccessful) to eradicate smallpox, Guinea worm, polio, and malaria, we addressed the biological, technical, and social aspects of disease that impact the feasibility of disease eradication.

Please choose one disease OTHER THAN the diseases listed above, and evaluate it in the context of disease eradication.

Your paper should fully address the following, including the basic scientific details:

  • What biological factors would allow this disease to be potentially eradicated?
  • What biological factors would interfere with eradication?
  • What scientific advances might be needed before eradication would be realistic?

“Biological factors” should include the host/range or reservoir of the organism, how easily and/or efficiently it can be diagnosed, and whether we currently have effective interventions (technical or otherwise) that would help prevent the spread of the disease. Other biological or technical issues that are applicable to your disease should also be discussed.

You should also include some analysis of the following:

  • How would we need to approach eradication? What interventions would likely be most useful?
  • What structural framework is currently in place, or would need to be added?
  • What social/political realities would either encourage or discourage eradication efforts?

Please make sure to discuss the global burden of your disease (that is, what is the global incidence and/or prevalence? What is the geographic/socioeconomic distribution?). You may find that different sources have different data, but don’t try to do a full analysis—you only have to use one credible source for this data.

This paper should be 5-7 pages (double-spaced, 12 pt font, 1″ margins). As always, please make sure you cite any sources both in text and in a bibliography. The bibliography does NOT count toward the 5 pages, nor does any header.

If you will be in class on the due date, please print and turn in the paper. However, I know some of you may be leaving early for Thanksgiving; in that case please upload it here.

This paper should help you:

  1. Understand the basic biology of a pathogenic organism
  2. Identify the criteria that affect the feasibility of disease eradication
  3. Analyze systemic and social barriers to eradication efforts
  4. Translate knowledge gained about one infectious disease into effective approaches toward other infectious diseases