Deakin University
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Geospatial joint modeling of vector and parasite serology to microstratify malaria transmission

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journal contribution
posted on 2024-07-04, 04:15 authored by EA Kearney, P Amratia, SY Kang, Paul AgiusPaul Agius, KA Alene, K O’Flaherty, WH Oo, JC Cutts, W Htike, D Da Silva Goncalves, Z Razook, Alyssa BarryAlyssa Barry, D Drew, A Thi, KZ Aung, HK Thu, MM Thein, NN Zaw, WYM Htay, AP Soe, JG Beeson, JA Simpson, PW Gething, E Cameron, FJI Fowkes
The World Health Organization identifies a strong surveillance system for malaria and its mosquito vector as an essential pillar of the malaria elimination agenda. Anopheles salivary antibodies are emerging biomarkers of exposure to mosquito bites that potentially overcome sensitivity and logistical constraints of traditional entomological surveys. Using samples collected by a village health volunteer network in 104 villages in Southeast Myanmar during routine surveillance, the present study employs a Bayesian geostatistical modeling framework, incorporating climatic and environmental variables together with Anopheles salivary antigen serology, to generate spatially continuous predictive maps of Anopheles biting exposure. Our maps quantify fine-scale spatial and temporal heterogeneity in Anopheles salivary antibody seroprevalence (ranging from 9 to 99%) that serves as a proxy of exposure to Anopheles bites and advances current static maps of only Anopheles occurrence. We also developed an innovative framework to perform surveillance of malaria transmission. By incorporating antibodies against the vector and the transmissible form of malaria (sporozoite) in a joint Bayesian geostatistical model, we predict several foci of ongoing transmission. In our study, we demonstrate that antibodies specific for Anopheles salivary and sporozoite antigens are a logistically feasible metric with which to quantify and characterize heterogeneity in exposure to vector bites and malaria transmission. These approaches could readily be scaled up into existing village health volunteer surveillance networks to identify foci of residual malaria transmission, which could be targeted with supplementary interventions to accelerate progress toward elimination.



Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America



Article number





Washington, D.C.

Open access

  • Yes







Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal




National Academy of Sciences