A review of malaria transmission dynamics in forest ecosystems

Parasit Vectors. 2014 Jun 9;7:265. doi: 10.1186/1756-3305-7-265.


Malaria continues to be a major health problem in more than 100 endemic countries located primarily in tropical and sub-tropical regions around the world. Malaria transmission is a dynamic process and involves many interlinked factors, from uncontrollable natural environmental conditions to man-made disturbances to nature. Almost half of the population at risk of malaria lives in forest areas. Forests are hot beds of malaria transmission as they provide conditions such as vegetation cover, temperature, rainfall and humidity conditions that are conducive to distribution and survival of malaria vectors. Forests often lack infrastructure and harbor tribes with distinct genetic traits, socio-cultural beliefs and practices that greatly influence malaria transmission dynamics. Here we summarize the various topographical, entomological, parasitological, human ecological and socio-economic factors, which are crucial and shape malaria transmission in forested areas. An in-depth understanding and synthesis of the intricate relationship of these parameters in achieving better malaria control in various types of forest ecosystems is emphasized.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Culicidae / parasitology
  • Culicidae / physiology
  • Ecosystem*
  • Forests*
  • Humans
  • Malaria / parasitology
  • Malaria / transmission*
  • Plasmodium / classification