Variation in Anopheles distribution and predictors of malaria infection risk across regions of Madagascar

Malar J. 2020 Sep 29;19(1):348. doi: 10.1186/s12936-020-03423-1.


Background: Deforestation and land use change is widespread in Madagascar, altering local ecosystems and creating opportunities for disease vectors, such as the Anopheles mosquito, to proliferate and more easily reach vulnerable, rural populations. Knowledge of risk factors associated with malaria infections is growing globally, but these associations remain understudied across Madagascar's diverse ecosystems experiencing rapid environmental change. This study aims to uncover socioeconomic, demographic, and ecological risk factors for malaria infection across regions through analysis of a large, cross-sectional dataset.

Methods: The objectives were to assess (1) the ecological correlates of malaria vector breeding through larval surveys, and (2) the socioeconomic, demographic, and ecological risk factors for malaria infection in four ecologically distinct regions of rural Madagascar. Risk factors were determined using multilevel models for the four regions included in the study.

Results: The presence of aquatic agriculture (both within and surrounding communities) is the strongest predictive factor of habitats containing Anopheles larvae across all regions. Ecological and socioeconomic risk factors for malaria infection vary dramatically across study regions and range in their complexity.

Conclusions: Risk factors for malaria transmission differ dramatically across regions of Madagascar. These results may help stratifying current malaria control efforts in Madagascar beyond the scope of existing interventions.

Keywords: Disease ecology; Land use change; Malaria; Planetary health; Vector-borne disease.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Animal Distribution*
  • Animals
  • Anopheles / physiology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Demography
  • Ecosystem
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Madagascar / epidemiology
  • Malaria / epidemiology*
  • Malaria / parasitology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mosquito Vectors / physiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Young Adult