Present habitat suitability for Anopheles atroparvus (Diptera, Culicidae) and its coincidence with former malaria areas in mainland Portugal

César Capinha, Eduardo Gomes, Eusébio Reis, Jorge Rocha, Carla A. Sousa, V. E. do Rosário, A. Paulo Almeida
  • César Capinha
    Centro de Estudos Geográficos, Universidade de Lisboa, Alameda da Universidade, Lisboa, Portugal | cesarcapinha@hotmail.com
  • Eduardo Gomes
    CMDT-LA, Instituto de Higiene e Medicina Tropical, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal
  • Eusébio Reis
    Centro de Estudos Geográficos, Universidade de Lisboa, Alameda da Universidade, Lisboa, Portugal
  • Jorge Rocha
    Centro de Estudos Geográficos, Universidade de Lisboa, Alameda da Universidade, Lisboa, Portugal
  • Carla A. Sousa
    Unidade de Entomologia Médica, Instituto de Higiene e Medicina Tropical, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal
  • V. E. do Rosário
    CMDT-LA, Instituto de Higiene e Medicina Tropical, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal
  • A. Paulo Almeida
    Unidade de Entomologia Médica, Instituto de Higiene e Medicina Tropical, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal

Abstract

Malaria was a major health problem in the first half of the 20th Century in mainland Portugal. Nowadays, although the disease is no longer endemic, there is still the risk of future endemic infections due to the continuous occurrence of imported cases and the possibility of transmission in the country by Anopheles atroparvus Van Thiel, 1927. Since vector abundance constitute one of the foremost factors in malaria transmission, we have created several habitat suitability models to describe this vector species’ current distribution. Three different correlative models; namely (i) a multilayer perceptron artificial neural network (MLP-ANN); (ii) binary logistic regression (BLR); and (iii) Mahalanobis distance were used to combine the species records with a set of five environmental predictors. Kappa coefficient values from k-fold cross-validation records showed that binary logistic regression produced the best predictions, while the other two models also produced acceptable results. Therefore, in order to reduce uncertainty, the three suitability models were combined. The resulting model identified high suitability for An. atroparvus in the majority of the country with exception of the northern and central coastal areas. Malaria distribution during the last endemic period in the country was also compared with the combined suitability model, and a high degree of spatial agreement was obtained (kappa = 0.62). It was concluded that habitat suitability for malaria vectors can constitute valuable information on the assessment of several spatial attributes of the disease. In addition, the results suggest that the spatial distribution of An. atroparvus in the country remains very similar to the one known about seven decades ago.

Keywords

Anopheles atroparvus, habitat suitability, malaria, geographical information system.

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Submitted: 2014-12-22 11:55:44
Published: 2009-05-01 00:00:00
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Copyright (c) 2009 César Capinha, Eduardo Gomes, Eusébio Reis, Jorge Rocha, Carla A. Sousa, V. E. do Rosário, A. Paulo Almeida

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