Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.
Skip to main content

For countries aiming for malaria elimination, travel of infected individuals between endemic areas undermines local interventions. Quantifying parasite importation has therefore become a priority for national control programs. We analyzed epidemiological surveillance data, travel surveys, parasite genetic data, and anonymized mobile phone data to measure the spatial spread of malaria parasites in southeast Bangladesh. We developed a genetic mixing index to estimate the likelihood of samples being local or imported from parasite genetic data and inferred the direction and intensity of parasite flow between locations using an epidemiological model integrating the travel survey and mobile phone calling data. Our approach indicates that, contrary to dogma, frequent mixing occurs in low transmission regions in the southwest, and elimination will require interventions in addition to reducing imported infections from forested regions. Unlike risk maps generated from clinical case counts alone, therefore, our approach distinguishes areas of frequent importation as well as high transmission.

Original publication

DOI

10.7554/elife.43481

Type

Journal article

Journal

eLife

Publication Date

02/04/2019

Volume

8

Addresses

Department of Epidemiology, Harvard T H Chan School of Public Health, Boston, United States.