Influence of topography on the endemicity of Kala-azar: a study based on remote sensing and geographical information system
AbstractKala-azar, a fatal infectious disease in many Indian states, particularly in Bihar, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, and Jharkhand, is caused by the protozoan parasite Leishmania donovani and transmitted by the sandfly vector Phlebotomus argentipes. The vector is distributed all over the country but the disease is confined to particular zones since before the last century. In this study, parameters such as altitude, temperature, humidity, rainfall and the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) were investigated for correlation with the distribution of the disease in the northeastern corner of the Indian sub-continent. Data analysis on Kala-azar prevalence during the period 2005-2007 in the four states showed that the highest prevalence was below 150 m of altitude with very few cases located above the 300 m level. Low NDVI value ranges (0.03-0.015) correlated with a high occurrence of the disease. The maximum temperatures in the affected sites varied between an upper level of 25-29°C and a minimum of 16-20°C. The rainfall in these areas fluctuated between 1154 and 1834 mm. As the disease showed a high correlation with the prevailing topographic conditions, an attempt was made to improve the relative strength of the approach to predict the potential for endemicity of leishmaniasis by introducing satellite imagery complemented with a geographical information system database.
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Copyright (c) 2010 Gouri S. Bhunia, Shreekant Kesari, Algarsamy Jeyaram, Vijay Kumar, Pradeep Das
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