Serial killers to mosquitos: the spatial targeting of larval habitats in rural Uganda using geographical profiling
This project aims to:
- establish the accuracy and efficiency of Geographic profiling (GP) to identify Anopheles breeding sites in comparison to field-based Larval surveillance;
- demonstrate the benefit of adding the spatial distribution of adult mosquito densities to the GP model; and
- evaluate the effect of using a novel, high-throughput sequencing method to exclude imported malaria cases to improve the accuracy of the GP model.
Larval source management (LSM) is the modification of potential breeding habitats to prevent immature mosquitos from developing into adults, often through the application of larvicides. LSM is, however, resource intensive and thereby only recommended in select environments. New methods of efficiently locating and targeting Anopheles breeding sites must be developed to make LSM feasible in a wider variety of settings. Geographic profiling (GP) was originally developed as an analytical tool in criminology, using the locations of linked crimes to narrow the search area for likely suspects. GP has been successfully adopted to a number of biological problems, but in the case of malaria, it has only been applied to a single retrospective data set. Nevertheless, the model was able to efficiently identify mosquito breeding sites based on the location of clinical cases.