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Malaria Hotspots: Is There Epidemiological Evidence for Fine-Scale Spatial Targeting of Interventions?
- Stresman, Gillian, Bousema, Teun, Cook, Jackie
- Trends in parasitology 2019 v.35 no.10 pp. 822-834
- disease transmission, geographical distribution, human diseases, insect vectors, malaria
- As data at progressively granular spatial scales become available, the temptation is to target interventions to areas with higher malaria transmission – so-called hotspots – with the aim of reducing transmission in the wider community. This paper reviews literature to determine if hotspots are an intrinsic feature of malaria epidemiology and whether current evidence supports hotspot-targeted interventions. Hotspots are a consistent feature of malaria transmission at all endemicities. The smallest spatial unit capable of supporting transmission is the household, where peri-domestic transmission occurs. Whilst the value of focusing interventions to high-burden areas is evident, there is currently limited evidence that local-scale hotspots fuel transmission. As boundaries are often uncertain, there is no conclusive evidence that hotspot-targeted interventions accelerate malaria elimination.