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Title: The impact of topography on malaira exposure and malaria epidemic sensitivity in the Western Kenya Highlands
Authors: Wanjala, Christine,Ludwin
Keywords: Malaria
Issue Date: Sep-2011
Publisher: Egerton University
Abstract: The sensitivity of the human population to malaria epidemics depends on the level of exposure to malaria parasites and development of immunity to malaria. The study examined how terrain in the highlands affects the exposure and sensitivity of the human population to malaria epidemics. The study was conducted in five sites in westem Kenya highlands, two U-shaped valleys (lguhu, Emutete), two V-shaped valleys (Marani, Fort- Teman) and one plateau (Shikondi) for thirteen months. Exposure to malaria was tested in 6-l5years old children using circum-sporozoite protein and merozoite surface protein immunochromatographic antibody test. Malaria infection was confirmed by microscopic examination of thick and thin smears, the subjects’ homes were georeferenced using global positioning system and the data obtained used for mapping the study sites. The paired t-test was used to determine differences of the prevalence of antibody and malaria parasites among the sites. K function was used to deten-nine if spatial distribution of infections in the sites was significantly clustered or random. The mean antibody prevalence was 20.5% in Iguhu, 23.6% in Emutete, 12.7% in Shikondi, 9.6% in Fort- Teman and 10.6% in Marani. The mean malaria parasites prevalence was 23.5% in Iguhu, 21.1% in Emutete, 5.1% in Shikondi, 3.1% in Fort-Teman and 3.6% in Marani. There was a significant difference in the antibodies and malaria infection prevalence among the two valley systems and the plateau (P<0.05). There was no significant difference in the antibodies and malaria parasites prevalence within the U-shaped valleys and within the V-shaped valleys (P> 0.05). There was a 5- fold and a 2-fold greater parasites and antibody prevalence respectively, in the U-shaped compared to the V- shaped valleys. The plateau antibody and parasite prevalence was similar to that of the V- shaped valleys. There was clustering of malaria antibodies and malaria parasites around the swamps in the U-shaped, the infections were randomly distributed in the V-shaped valleys and less clustered at the plateau at low altitudes. “U” and V-shaped valleys have similar climate therefore the observed differences in parasites and antibody prevalence are likely to be due to their drainage characteristics. Hydrological and terrain mapping to define the shapes of “U” and “V” shaped valley is needed to guide the National malaria Control programs in designing integrated vector management and malaria control.
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Health Sciences

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