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Predicting the potential distribution of main malaria vectors Anopheles stephensi, An. culicifacies s.l. and An. fluviatilis s.l. in Iran based on maximum entropy model

Pakdad, Kamran, Hanafi-Bojd, Ahmad Ali, Vatandoost, Hassan, Sedaghat, Mohammad Mehdi, Raeisi, Ahmad, Moghaddam, Abdolreza Salahi, Foroushani, Abbas Rahimi
Acta tropica 2017 v.169 pp. 93-99
Anopheles culicifacies, Anopheles fluviatilis, Anopheles stephensi, databases, guidelines, insect vectors, malaria, models, niches, prediction, public health, temperature, weather, Iran
Malaria is considered as a major public health problem in southern areas of Iran. The goal of this study was to predict best ecological niches of three main malaria vectors of Iran: Anopheles stephensi, Anopheles culicifacies s.l. and Anopheles fluviatilis s.l. A databank was created which included all published data about Anopheles species of Iran from 1961 to 2015. The suitable environmental niches for the three above mentioned Anopheles species were predicted using maximum entropy model (MaxEnt). AUC (area under Roc curve) values were 0.943, 0.974 and 0.956 for An. stephensi, An. culicifacies s.l. and An. fluviatilis s.l respectively, which are considered as high potential power of model in the prediction of species niches. The biggest bioclimatic contributor for An. stephensi and An. fluviatilis s.l. was bio 15 (precipitation seasonality), 25.5% and 36.1% respectively, followed by bio 1 (annual mean temperature), 20.8% for An. stephensi and bio 4 (temperature seasonality) with 49.4% contribution for An. culicifacies s.l. This is the first step in the mapping of the country’s malaria vectors. Hence, future weather situation can change the dispersal maps of Anopheles. Iran is under elimination phase of malaria, so that such spatio-temporal studies are essential and could provide guideline for decision makers for IVM strategies in problematic areas.