Altitudinal changes in malaria incidence in highlands of Ethiopia and Colombia

Science. 2014 Mar 7;343(6175):1154-8. doi: 10.1126/science.1244325.


The impact of global warming on insect-borne diseases and on highland malaria in particular remains controversial. Temperature is known to influence transmission intensity through its effects on the population growth of the mosquito vector and on pathogen development within the vector. Spatiotemporal data at a regional scale in highlands of Colombia and Ethiopia supplied an opportunity to examine how the spatial distribution of the disease changes with the interannual variability of temperature. We provide evidence for an increase in the altitude of malaria distribution in warmer years, which implies that climate change will, without mitigation, result in an increase of the malaria burden in the densely populated highlands of Africa and South America.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Altitude*
  • Colombia / epidemiology
  • Ethiopia / epidemiology
  • Global Warming
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Malaria, Falciparum / epidemiology*
  • Plasmodium falciparum*
  • Population Density
  • Seasons