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Free Content Short communication: Negative spatial association between lymphatic filariasis and malaria in West Africa

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Summary Objective

To determine the relationship between human lymphatic filariasis, caused by Wuchereria bancrofti, and falciparum malaria, which are co-endemic throughout West Africa. Methods

We used geographical information systems and spatial statistics to examine the prevalence of lymphatic filariasis in relation to malaria prevalence, mosquito species distributions, vegetation and climate. Results

A negative spatial association between W. bancrofti and falciparum malaria prevalence exists. Interspecies competition between parasites, seasonality, differences in the distribution and vector competence of Anopheles vectors, agricultural practices and insecticide resistance may be factors driving current (and potentially future) spatial distributions. Conclusion

Further investigating these factors will become crucial as large-scale lymphatic filariasis and malaria control programmes are implemented in West Africa that may influence the epidemiology of both diseases.

Keywords: Anopheles; West Africa; climate; environment; epidemiology; geographical information systems; lymphatic filariasis; malaria; statistical modelling; transmission

Document Type: Short Communication


Affiliations: 1: Vector Research Group, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Liverpool, UK 2: Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK 3: Health Research Unit, Ghana Health Service, Ministry of Health, Accra, Ghana 4: Division of Preventative Medicine, Ministry of Health, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso 5: International Research Institute for Climate Prediction, Earth Institute at Columbia University, New York, NY, USA 6: Prince Leopold Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerpen, Belgium 7: School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, University of Durham, Durham, UK 8: Lymphatic Filariasis Support Centre, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Liverpool, UK

Publication date: February 1, 2006

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