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Mapping hotspots of malaria transmission from pre-existing hydrology, geology and geomorphology data in the pre-elimination context of Zanzibar, United Republic of Tanzania

Hardy, Andrew and Mageni, Zawadi and Dongus, Stefan and Killeen, Gerry and Macklin, Mark G. and Majambare, Silas and Ali, Abdullah and Msellem, Mwinyi and Al-Mafazy, Abdul-Wahiyd and Smith, Mark and Thomas, Chris. (2015) Mapping hotspots of malaria transmission from pre-existing hydrology, geology and geomorphology data in the pre-elimination context of Zanzibar, United Republic of Tanzania. Parasites and Vectors, 8 (41).

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Abstract

BackgroundLarval source management strategies can play an important role in malaria elimination programmes, especially for tackling outdoor biting species and for eliminating parasite and vector populations when they are most vulnerable during the dry season. Effective larval source management requires tools for identifying geographic foci of vector proliferation and malaria transmission where these efforts may be concentrated. Previous studies have relied on surface topographic wetness to indicate hydrological potential for vector breeding sites, but this is unsuitable for karst (limestone) landscapes such as Zanzibar where water flow, especially in the dry season, is subterranean and not controlled by surface topography.MethodsWe examine the relationship between dry and wet season spatial patterns of diagnostic positivity rates of malaria infection amongst patients reporting to health facilities on Unguja, Zanzibar, with the physical geography of the island, including land cover, elevation, slope angle, hydrology, geology and geomorphology in order to identify transmission hot spots using Boosted Regression Trees (BRT) analysis.ResultsThe distribution of both wet and dry season malaria infection rates can be predicted using freely available static data, such as elevation and geology. Specifically, high infection rates in the central and southeast regions of the island coincide with outcrops of hard dense limestone which cause locally elevated water tables and the location of dolines (shallow depressions plugged with fine-grained material promoting the persistence of shallow water bodies).ConclusionsThis analysis provides a tractable tool for the identification of malaria hotspots which incorporates subterranean hydrology, which can be used to target larval source management strategies.
Faculties and Departments:09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) > Department of Epidemiology and Public Health (EPH) > Environmental Exposures and Health
09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH)
UniBasel Contributors:Dongus, Stefan
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN:1756-3305
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Language:English
Identification Number:
Last Modified:15 Nov 2016 15:36
Deposited On:10 Apr 2015 09:13

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