Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

First Global Malaria Map In Decades Shows Reduced Risk

Date:
February 27, 2008
Source:
University of Florida
Summary:
About 35 percent of the world's population is at risk of contracting deadly malaria, but many people are at a lower risk than previously thought, raising hope that the disease could be seriously reduced or eliminated in parts of the world.

P. falciparum Malaria Risk Defined by Annual Parasite Incidence (top), Temperature, and Aridity (bottom).
Credit: The Limits and Intensity of Plasmodium falciparum Transmission: Implications for Malaria Control and Elimination Worldwide Guerra CA, Gikandi PW, Tatem AJ, Noor AM, Smith DL, et al. PLoS Medicine Vol. 5, No. 2, e38 doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0050038

About 35 percent of the world's population is at risk of contracting deadly malaria, but many people are at a lower risk than previously thought, raising hope that the disease could be seriously reduced or eliminated in parts of the world.

So concludes a group of researchers, including a scientist in the University of Florida Emerging Pathogens Institute, who spent three years producing the first spatial map of global malaria risk in four decades.

The Malaria Atlas Project, or MAP, found that 2.37 billion people were at risk of contracting malaria from Plasmodium faciparum, the most deadly malaria parasite for humans transmitted through the bites of infected Anopheles mosquitoes. Of that number, about 1 billion people live under a much lower risk of infection than was assumed under the previous historical maps. The lower than expected risk extends across Central and South America, Asia and even parts of Africa, the continent where malaria kills the vast majority of its victims and where risk has historically been classified as universally high.

The MAP also highlights potential problems facing countries currently aiming to eliminate malaria. For example, Saudi Arabia is currently providing substantial financial support for the elimination of malaria in its neighbour, Yemen. However, the new research shows how high rates of population inflow from Somalia will pose a continued concern due to the potential reintroduction of the parasite. Similar dilemmas are faced by countries in south east Asia.

"This gives some hope of pursuing malaria elimination because the prevalence isn't as universally high as many people suppose," said David Smith, a UF associate professor of zoology and a co-author of the paper. "It's reasonable to think we can reduce or interrupt transmission in many places, but the prospects for success will improve if we make plans that are based on good information about malaria's distribution."

The MAP effort, a collaboration between Oxford University and the Kenyan Medical Research Institute, compiled information from national health statistics, tourist travel advisories, climate, mosquito vectors and surveys of malaria infection in nearly 5,000 communities and 87 countries. The project also incorporated information about how climatic conditions affect mosquito life cycles, and thus the likelihood of active transmission.

"One of my contributions was to help standardize prevalence estimates," Smith said.

The new map is important in part because it offers hope that malaria could be eliminated in certain areas using currently available tools, such as bed nets treated with insecticide that kills mosquitoes, the researchers said. It will also help donors and international agencies target investments in control measures where they are most likely to achieve the biggest gains.

More than 500 million cases of malaria are reported annually. Of those afflicted, about one million die; 80 percent of them are children in sub-Saharan Africa.

"Making data and maps more accessible on the worldwide web is a large part of the MAP's philosophy of getting the science accessed, critiqued and used by a much wider range of users," said the lead author of the paper, Carlos Guerra, of the University of Oxford.

Journal reference: Guerra CA, Gikandi PW, Tatem AJ, Noor AM, Smith DL, et al. (2008) The limits and intensity of Plasmodium falciparum transmission: Implications for malaria control and elimination worldwide. PLoS Med 5(2): e38 (doi=10.1371/journal.pmed.0050038)

The research was funded by the Wellcome Trust. In accordance with the trust's philosophy on open access, all the data and techniques tapped in the MAP are freely accessible via the project's Web site at http://www.map.ox.ac.uk.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Florida. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Florida. "First Global Malaria Map In Decades Shows Reduced Risk." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 February 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080225213650.htm>.
University of Florida. (2008, February 27). First Global Malaria Map In Decades Shows Reduced Risk. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080225213650.htm
University of Florida. "First Global Malaria Map In Decades Shows Reduced Risk." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080225213650.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins