Spatial and temporal patterns of malaria incidence in Mozambique

Department of Mathematics and Informatics (DMI), Eduardo Mondlane University, Maputo, Mozambique.
Malaria Journal (Impact Factor: 3.11). 07/2011; 10(1):189. DOI: 10.1186/1475-2875-10-189
Source: PubMed


The objective of this study is to analyze the spatial and temporal patterns of malaria incidence as to determine the means by which climatic factors such as temperature, rainfall and humidity affect its distribution in Maputo province, Mozambique.
This study presents a model of malaria that evolves in space and time in Maputo province-Mozambique, over a ten years period (1999-2008). The model incorporates malaria cases and their relation to environmental variables. Due to incompleteness of climatic data, a multiple imputation technique is employed. Additionally, the whole province is interpolated through a Gaussian process. This method overcomes the misalignment problem of environmental variables (available at meteorological stations--points) and malaria cases (available as aggregates for every district--area). Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) methods are used to obtain posterior inference and Deviance Information Criteria (DIC) to perform model comparison.
A Bayesian model with interaction terms was found to be the best fitted model. Malaria incidence was associated to humidity and maximum temperature. Malaria risk increased with maximum temperature over 28 °C (relative risk (RR) of 0.0060 and 95% Bayesian credible interval (CI) of 0.00033-0.0095) and humidity (relative risk (RR) of 0.00741 and 95% Bayesian CI 0.005141-0.0093). The results would suggest that additional non-climatic factors including socio-economic status, elevation, etc. also influence malaria transmission in Mozambique.
These results demonstrate the potential of climate predictors particularly, humidity and maximum temperature in explaining malaria incidence risk for the studied period in Maputo province. Smoothed maps obtained as monthly average of malaria incidence allowed to visualize months of initial and peak transmission. They also illustrate a variation on malaria incidence risk that might not be related to climatic factors. However, these factors are still determinant for malaria transmission and intensity in the region.

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    • "Recent studies employing a combination of geographical information systems (GIS) [13,16], scan statistics [17-19] and Bayesian modelling [20-22] have proven helpful in characterizing the spatial patterns of malaria and in determining linkages between spatial patterns and driving factors for malaria transmission risk. Improved understanding of spatiotemporal clustering of malaria in villages would be indispensable for government and malaria control and prevention partners to provide appropriate malaria interventions and resource allocation. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Malaria attacks are not evenly distributed in space and time. In highland areas with low endemicity, malaria transmission is highly variable and malaria acquisition risk for individuals is unevenly distributed even within a neighbourhood. Characterizing the spatiotemporal distribution of malaria cases in high-altitude villages is necessary to prioritize the risk areas and facilitate interventions. Methods Spatial scan statistics using the Bernoulli method were employed to identify spatial and temporal clusters of malaria in high-altitude villages. Daily malaria data were collected, using a passive surveillance system, from patients visiting local health facilities. Georeference data were collected at villages using hand-held global positioning system devices and linked to patient data. Bernoulli model using Bayesian approaches and Marcov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) methods were used to identify the effects of factors on spatial clusters of malaria cases. The deviance information criterion (DIC) was used to assess the goodness-of-fit of the different models. The smaller the DIC, the better the model fit. Results Malaria cases were clustered in both space and time in high-altitude villages. Spatial scan statistics identified a total of 56 spatial clusters of malaria in high-altitude villages. Of these, 39 were the most likely clusters (LLR = 15.62, p < 0.00001) and 17 were secondary clusters (LLR = 7.05, p < 0.03). The significant most likely temporal malaria clusters were detected between August and December (LLR = 17.87, p < 0.001). Travel away home, males and age above 15 years had statistically significant effect on malaria clusters at high-altitude villages. Conclusion The study identified spatial clusters of malaria cases occurring at high elevation villages within the district. A patient who travelled away from home to a malaria-endemic area might be the most probable source of malaria infection in a high-altitude village. Malaria interventions in high altitude villages should address factors associated with malaria clustering.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · Malaria Journal
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    • "The space-time clustering of malaria has also been described, mainly in moderate to high transmission settings [2,13,26-30]. A few studies showed a difference of malaria risk at the regional or local level [27,31]. A precise knowledge of the geographic zones at risk, the levels of risk, the various risk factors, and the exposed populations, is required particularly in sites where malaria vaccines are tested. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Heterogeneous patterns of malaria transmission are thought to be driven by factors including host genetics, distance to mosquito breeding sites, housing construction, and socio-behavioural characteristics. Evaluation of local transmission epidemiology to characterize malaria risk is essential for planning malaria control and elimination programmes. The use of geographical information systems (GIS) techniques has been a major asset to this approach. To assess time and space distribution of malaria disease in Bandiagara, Mali, within a transmission season, data were used from an ongoing malaria incidence study that enrolled 300 participants aged under six years old". Methods: Children's households were georeferenced using a handheld global position system. Clinical malaria was defined as a positive blood slide for Plasmodium falciparum asexual stages associated with at least one of the following signs: headache, body aches, fever, chills and weakness. Daily rainfall was measured at the local weather station.Landscape features of Bandiagara were obtained from satellite images and field survey. QGIS™ software was used to map malaria cases, affected and non-affected children, and the number of malaria episodes per child in each block of Bandiagara. Clusters of high or low risk were identified under SaTScan(®) software according to a Bernoulli model. Results: From June 2009 to May 2010, 296 clinical malaria cases were recorded. Though clearly temporally related to the rains, Plasmodium falciparum occurrence persisted late in the dry season. Two "hot spots" of malaria transmission also found, notably along the Yamé River, characterized by higher than expected numbers of malaria cases, and high numbers of clinical episodes per child. Conversely, the north-eastern sector of the town had fewer cases despite its proximity to a large body of standing water which was mosquito habitat. Conclusion: These results confirm the existence of a marked spatial heterogeneity of malaria transmission in Bandiagara, providing support for implementation of targeted interventions.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2013 · Malaria Journal
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    ABSTRACT: To present the geographical map of malaria and identify some of the important environmental factors of this disease in Sistan and Baluchistan province, Iran. We used the registered malaria data to compute the standard incidence rates (SIRs) of malaria in different areas of Sistan and Baluchistan province for a nine-year period (from 2001 to 2009). Statistical analyses consisted of two different parts: geographical mapping of malaria incidence rates, and modeling the environmental factors. The empirical Bayesian estimates of malaria SIRs were utilized for geographical mapping of malaria and a Poisson random effects model was used for assessing the effect of environmental factors on malaria SIRs. In general, 64,926 new cases of malaria were registered in Sistan and Baluchistan Province from 2001 to 2009. Among them, 42,695 patients (65.8%) were male and 22,231 patients (34.2%) were female. Modeling the environmental factors showed that malaria incidence rates had positive relationship with humidity, elevation, average minimum temperature and average maximum temperature, while rainfall had negative effect on malaria SIRs in this province. The results of the present study reveals that malaria is still a serious health problem in Sistan and Baluchistan province, Iran. Geographical map and related environmental factors of malaria can help the health policy makers to intervene in high risk areas more efficiently and allocate the resources in a proper manner.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2011 · Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine
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