The Importance of Drains for the Larval Development of Lymphatic Filariasis and Malaria Vectors in Dar es Salaam, United Republic of Tanzania

Castro, MC; Kanamori, S; Kannady, K; Mkude, S; Killeen, GF; Fillinger, U; (2010) The Importance of Drains for the Larval Development of Lymphatic Filariasis and Malaria Vectors in Dar es Salaam, United Republic of Tanzania. PLoS Negl Trop Dis, 4 (5). ISSN 1935-2727 DOI:

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Background: Dar es Salaam has an extensive drain network, mostly with inadequate water flow, blocked by waste, causing flooding after rainfall. The presence of Anopheles and Culex larvae is common, which is likely to impact the transmission of lymphatic filariasis and malaria by the resulting adult mosquito populations. However, the importance of drains as larval habitats remains unknown. Methodology: Data on mosquito larval habitats routinely collected by the Urban Malaria Control Program (UMCP) and a special drain survey conducted in 2006 were used to obtain a typology of habitats. Focusing on drains, logistic regression was used to evaluate potential factors impacting the presence of mosquito larvae. Spatial variation in the proportion of habitats that contained larvae was assessed through the local Moran's I indicator of spatial association. Principal Findings: More than 70% of larval habitats in Dar es Salaam were human-made. Aquatic habitats associated with agriculture had the highest proportion of Anopheles larvae presence and the second highest of Culex larvae presence. However, the majority of aquatic habitats were drains (42%), and therefore, 43% (1,364/3,149) of all culicine and 33% (320/976) of all anopheline positive habitats were drains. Compared with drains where water was flowing at normal velocity, the odds of finding Anopheles and Culex larvae were 8.8 and 6.3 (p<0.001) times larger, respectively, in drains with stagnant water. There was a positive association between vegetation and the presence of mosquito larvae (p<0.001). The proportion of habitats with mosquito larvae was spatially correlated. Conclusion: Restoring and maintaining drains in Dar es Salaam has the potential to eliminate more than 40% of all potential mosquito larval habitats that are currently treated with larvicides by the UMCP. The importance of human-made larval habitats for both lymphatic filariasis and malaria vectors underscores the need for a synergy between on-going control efforts of those diseases.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Disease Control
PubMed ID: 20300569
Web of Science ID: 278601000023


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