Beyond temperature and precipitation: Ecological risk factors that modify malaria transmission

Gillian H. Stresman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Being able to identify the ecological factors that impact risk for malaria would confer important predictive capacity to target malaria control interventions in a community. Temperature and water available for breeding habitats have been shown to be important primary ecological factors that impact the distribution of the malaria vectors and the rate at which the mosquito and parasite develop. However, to this point, studies focusing on the local level have been met with many inconsistent results when assessing malaria risk using both temperature and precipitation. This paper reviewed existing literature to determine if other ecological factors beyond temperature and water are present that may be modifying any associations present between ecological factors and malaria risk. It was found that the ability for water to pool and persist, water quality, elevation, deforestation, and agriculture have all been associated with malaria and may be modifying risk. Using the primary and modifying ecological variables, identifying the interactions between these factors and specific thresholds for increased malaria risk is critical: filling this knowledge gap would enable communities to develop tailored malaria control interventions targeted to their specific circumstances.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-172
Number of pages6
JournalActa Tropica
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 2010


  • Environmental risk factors
  • Malaria
  • Precipitation
  • Temperature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases


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