Mapping and estimating the population at risk from lymphatic filariasis in Africa

Lindsay, S.W. and Thomas, C.J. (2000) Mapping and estimating the population at risk from lymphatic filariasis in Africa. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 94 (1). pp. 37-45. ISSN 0035-9203

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0035-9203%2800%2990431-0

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Item Type:Article
Item Status:Live Archive

Abstract

Lymphatic filariasis remains a major public health problem in Africa and is 1 of the World Health Organization's 6 diseases targeted for global eradication. However, no detailed maps of the geographical distribution of this disease exist, making it difficult to target control activities and quantify the population at risk. We hypothesized that the distribution of lymphatic filariasis is governed by climate. The climate at sites in Africa where surveys for lymphatic filariasis had taken place was characterized using computerized climate surfaces. Logistic regression analysis of the climate variables predicted with 76% accuracy whether sites had microfilaraemic patients or not. We used the logistic equation in a geographical information system to map risk of lymphatic filariasis infection across Africa, which compared favourably with expert opinion. Further validation with a quasi-independent data set showed that the model predicted correctly 88% of infected sites. A similar procedure was used to map risk of microfilaraemia in Egypt, where the dominant vector species differs from those in sub-Saharan Africa. By overlaying risk maps on a 1990 population grid, and adjusting for recent population increases, we estimate that around 420 million people will be exposed to this infection in Africa in the year 2000. This approach could be used to produce a sampling frame, based on estimated risk of microfilaraemia, for conducting filariasis surveys in countries that lack accurate distribution maps and thus save on costs.

Divisions:College of Science
ID Code:41238
Deposited On:24 Jun 2020 14:44

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