Mapping the Distribution of Malaria: Current Approaches and Future Directions

Leah R. Johnson, Kevin D. Lafferty, Amy Mcnally, Erin Mordecai, Krijn P. Paaijmans, Samraat Pawar, Sadie J. Ryan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

6 Scopus citations


Mapping the distribution of malaria has received substantial attention because the disease is a major source of illness and mortality in humans, especially in developing countries. It also has a defined temporal and spatial distribution. The distribution of malaria is most influenced by its mosquito vector, which is sensitive to extrinsic environmental factors such as rainfall and temperature. Temperature also affects the development rate of the malaria parasite in the mosquito. Here, we review the range of approaches used to model the distribution of malaria, from spatially explicit to implicit, mechanistic to correlative. Although current methods have significantly improved our understanding of the factors influencing malaria transmission, significant gaps remain, particularly in incorporating nonlinear responses to temperature and temperature variability. We highlight new methods to tackle these gaps and to integrate new data with models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAnalyzing and Modeling Spatial and Temporal Dynamics of Infectious Diseases
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781118630013
ISBN (Print)9781118629932
StatePublished - Jan 30 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Bayesian mapping
  • Ecophysiological models
  • Malaria
  • Plasmodium
  • R0
  • Thermal physiology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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