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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2020

Malaria hotspots explained from the perspective of ecological theory underlying insect foraging

Debebe, Yared; Hill, Sharon Rose; Tekie, Habte; Dugassa, Sisay; Hopkins, Richard J.; Ignell, Rickard


Hotspots constitute the major reservoir for residual malaria transmission, with higher malaria incidence than neighbouring areas, and therefore, have the potential to form the cornerstone for successful intervention strategies. Detection of malaria hotspots is hampered by their heterogenous spatial distribution, and the laborious nature and low sensitivity of the current methods used to assess transmission intensity. We adopt ecological theory underlying foraging in herbivorous insects to vector mosquito host seeking and modelling of fine-scale landscape features at the village level. The overall effect of environmental variables on the density of indoor mosquitoes, sporozoite infected mosquitoes, and malaria incidence, was determined using generalized linear models. Spatial analyses were used to identify hotspots for malaria incidence, as well as malaria vector density and associated sporozoite prevalence. We identify household occupancy and location as the main predictors of vector density, entomological inoculation rate and malaria incidence. We propose that the use of conventional vector control and malaria interventions, integrated with their intensified application targeting predicted hotspots, can be used to reduce malaria incidence in endemic and residual malaria settings.

Published in

Scientific Reports
2020, volume: 10, number: 1, article number: 21449

Authors' information

Debebe, Yared
Addis Ababa University
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Plant Protection Biology
Tekie, Habte
Addis Ababa University
Dugassa, Sisay
Addis Ababa University
Hopkins, Richard J.
University of Greenwich
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Plant Protection Biology

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG3 Good health and wellbeing

UKÄ Subject classification

Microbiology in the medical area

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