Ecological study and risk mapping of visceral leishmaniasis in an endemic area of Iran based on a geographical information systems approach

  • Abdoreza Salahi-Moghaddam | asmoghaddam@yahoo.com Department of Pathobiology, Bandar Abbas Faculty of Medicine, Hormozgan University of Medical Sciences (HUMS), Iran, Islamic Republic of.
  • Mehdi Mohebali Department of Medical Parasitology and Mycology, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran, Islamic Republic of.
  • Ali Moshfae Department of Medical Parasitology and Mycology, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran, Islamic Republic of.
  • Majid Habibi Climatological Research Institute, Tehran, Iran, Islamic Republic of.
  • Zabiholah Zarei Meshkin-Shahr Research and Training Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran, Islamic Republic of.

Abstract

Between 1998 and 2001, a total of 1,062 human cases of visceral leishmaniasis were reported from the rural district of Meshkin-Shahr in the mountainous, north-western Iranian province of Ardabil. In the summer of 2008, a cross-sectional study of dogs was conducted in this endemic area by randomly selecting 384 animals from 21 villages and testing them serologically for leishmaniasis. Villages, in which more than 10% of investigated dogs showed anti- Leishmania titres ≥1/320, were considered to be high-risk environments. Regression analysis showed no statistically significant correlation between topographic conditions and the prevalence of positive cases. However, when the results were compared with past meteorological records, a statistically significant positive correlation (P = 0.007) was found between the number of infected dogs with anti-Leishmania titres ≥1/640 and the number of days in a year with temperatures below 0 °C. While humidity showed an inverse correlation (P = 0.009) with the anti-Leishmania titres, a positive correlation (P <0.001) was found in relation to the amount of rainfall. Mapping of the areas at risk for kala-azar in the Meshkin-Shahr district supports the impression that the low temperatures prevalent in the Ardebil province constitute an important factor influencing the distribution of leishmaniasis there.

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Published
2010-11-01
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Original Articles
Keywords:
geographical information system, leishmaniasis, mapping, temperature, humidity, ecology, Iran.
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How to Cite
Salahi-Moghaddam, A., Mohebali, M., Moshfae, A., Habibi, M., & Zarei, Z. (2010). Ecological study and risk mapping of visceral leishmaniasis in an endemic area of Iran based on a geographical information systems approach. Geospatial Health, 5(1), 71-77. https://doi.org/10.4081/gh.2010.188