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A vectorial capacity product to monitor changing malaria transmission potential in epidemic regions of Africa

Malaria is a major public health threat to the African continent. Rainfall and temperature are two of the major factors triggering malaria epidemics in warm semi-arid and high altitude epidemic risk areas. The ability of the mosquitoes to transmit Plasmodium spp. is dependent upon a series of biological features generally referred to as vectorial capacity. In this study, the vectorial capacity model (VCAP) has been expanded to include the influence of rainfall and temperature variables on malaria transmission potential. Data from two remote sensing products were used to monitor rainfall and temperature and were integrated into the model, which was tested in Eritrea and Madagascar. The analysis shows that the expanded VCAP correctly tracks the risk of malaria both in regions where rainfall and/or temperature is the limiting factor. The VCAP maps could be used as a resource for testing malaria early warning applications in epidemic prone regions of sub-Saharan Africa.