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Identifying malaria transmission foci for elimination using human mobility data

Identifying malaria transmission foci for elimination using human mobility data
Identifying malaria transmission foci for elimination using human mobility data
Humans move frequently and tend to carry parasites among areas with endemic malaria and into areas where local transmission is unsustainable. Human-mediated parasite mobility can thus sustain parasite populations in areas where they would otherwise be absent. Data describing human mobility and malaria epidemiology can help classify landscapes into parasite demographic sources and sinks, ecological concepts that have parallels in malaria control discussions of transmission foci. By linking transmission to parasite flow, it is possible to stratify landscapes for malaria control and elimination, as sources are disproportionately important to the regional persistence of malaria parasites. Here, we identify putative malaria sources and sinks for pre-elimination Namibia using malaria parasite rate (PR) maps and call data records from mobile phones, using a steady-state analysis of a malaria transmission model to infer where infections most likely occurred. We also examined how the landscape of transmission and burden changed from the pre-elimination setting by comparing the location and extent of predicted pre-elimination transmission foci with modeled incidence for 2009. This comparison suggests that while transmission was spatially focal pre-elimination, the spatial distribution of cases changed as burden declined. The changing spatial distribution of burden could be due to importation, with cases focused around importation hotspots, or due to heterogeneous application of elimination effort. While this framework is an important step towards understanding progressive changes in malaria distribution and the role of subnational transmission dynamics in a policy-relevant way, future work should account for international parasite movement, utilize real time surveillance data, and relax the steady state assumption required by the presented model.
1553-734X
1-19
Ruktanonchai, Nick W.
fe68cb8d-3760-4955-99fa-47d43f86580a
DeLeenheer, Patrick
54bb9a61-b0c3-4592-8e86-dd463a57c750
Tatem, Andrew J.
6c6de104-a5f9-46e0-bb93-a1a7c980513e
Alegana, Victor A.
17871690-1cac-4acd-9371-31c71cded2f4
Caughlin, T. Trevor
4ca29eb2-8836-4431-a9d2-3f667d329276
Zu Erbach-Schoenberg, Elisabeth
9a1f59b2-c661-42c9-ad94-96772c292add
Lourenco, Christopher
2bc7b120-e9ef-4db0-919c-299fe60d51a3
Ruktanonchai, Corrine W.
a576fb11-a475-4d48-885a-85938b60a7a8
Smith, David L.
5c918948-ded2-42d8-82c1-a746a4bc3b6e
Ruktanonchai, Nick W.
fe68cb8d-3760-4955-99fa-47d43f86580a
DeLeenheer, Patrick
54bb9a61-b0c3-4592-8e86-dd463a57c750
Tatem, Andrew J.
6c6de104-a5f9-46e0-bb93-a1a7c980513e
Alegana, Victor A.
17871690-1cac-4acd-9371-31c71cded2f4
Caughlin, T. Trevor
4ca29eb2-8836-4431-a9d2-3f667d329276
Zu Erbach-Schoenberg, Elisabeth
9a1f59b2-c661-42c9-ad94-96772c292add
Lourenco, Christopher
2bc7b120-e9ef-4db0-919c-299fe60d51a3
Ruktanonchai, Corrine W.
a576fb11-a475-4d48-885a-85938b60a7a8
Smith, David L.
5c918948-ded2-42d8-82c1-a746a4bc3b6e

Ruktanonchai, Nick W., DeLeenheer, Patrick, Tatem, Andrew J., Alegana, Victor A., Caughlin, T. Trevor, Zu Erbach-Schoenberg, Elisabeth, Lourenco, Christopher, Ruktanonchai, Corrine W. and Smith, David L. (2016) Identifying malaria transmission foci for elimination using human mobility data. PLoS computational biology, 12 (4), 1-19. (doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1004846). (PMID:27043913)

Record type: Article

Abstract

Humans move frequently and tend to carry parasites among areas with endemic malaria and into areas where local transmission is unsustainable. Human-mediated parasite mobility can thus sustain parasite populations in areas where they would otherwise be absent. Data describing human mobility and malaria epidemiology can help classify landscapes into parasite demographic sources and sinks, ecological concepts that have parallels in malaria control discussions of transmission foci. By linking transmission to parasite flow, it is possible to stratify landscapes for malaria control and elimination, as sources are disproportionately important to the regional persistence of malaria parasites. Here, we identify putative malaria sources and sinks for pre-elimination Namibia using malaria parasite rate (PR) maps and call data records from mobile phones, using a steady-state analysis of a malaria transmission model to infer where infections most likely occurred. We also examined how the landscape of transmission and burden changed from the pre-elimination setting by comparing the location and extent of predicted pre-elimination transmission foci with modeled incidence for 2009. This comparison suggests that while transmission was spatially focal pre-elimination, the spatial distribution of cases changed as burden declined. The changing spatial distribution of burden could be due to importation, with cases focused around importation hotspots, or due to heterogeneous application of elimination effort. While this framework is an important step towards understanding progressive changes in malaria distribution and the role of subnational transmission dynamics in a policy-relevant way, future work should account for international parasite movement, utilize real time surveillance data, and relax the steady state assumption required by the presented model.

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Accepted/In Press date: 3 March 2016
e-pub ahead of print date: 4 April 2016
Published date: 2016
Organisations: Global Env Change & Earth Observation, WorldPop, Earth Surface Dynamics, Population, Health & Wellbeing (PHeW)

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 391001
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/391001
ISSN: 1553-734X
PURE UUID: 34c1ea84-ce5b-44e6-92be-3f921db8746d
ORCID for Andrew J. Tatem: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-7270-941X

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Date deposited: 07 Apr 2016 14:23
Last modified: 15 Aug 2019 00:36

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Contributors

Author: Nick W. Ruktanonchai
Author: Patrick DeLeenheer
Author: Andrew J. Tatem ORCID iD
Author: Victor A. Alegana
Author: T. Trevor Caughlin
Author: Elisabeth Zu Erbach-Schoenberg
Author: Corrine W. Ruktanonchai
Author: David L. Smith

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