Ethiopia has a diverse ecology and geography resulting in spatial and temporal variation in malaria transmission. Evidence-based strategies are thus needed to monitor transmission intensity and target interventions. A purposive selection of dried blood spots collected during cross-sectional school-based surveys in Oromia Regional State, Ethiopia, were tested for presence of antibodies against Plasmodium falciparum and P. vivax antigens. Spatially explicit binomial models of seroprevalence were created for each species using a Bayesian framework, and used to predict seroprevalence at 5 km resolution across Oromia. School seroprevalence showed a wider prevalence range than microscopy for both P. falciparum (0-50% versus 0-12.7%) and P. vivax (0-53.7% versus 0-4.5%), respectively. The P. falciparum model incorporated environmental predictors and spatial random effects, while P. vivax seroprevalence first-order trends were not adequately explained by environmental variables, and a spatial smoothing model was developed. This is the first demonstration of serological indicators being used to detect large-scale heterogeneity in malaria transmission using samples from cross-sectional school-based surveys. The findings support the incorporation of serological indicators into periodic large-scale surveillance such as Malaria Indicator Surveys, and with particular utility for low transmission and elimination settings.
© The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.