Investigating the Potential Transmission of Malaria within the State of Montana

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Authors
Normandeau, James
Bradbury, Ezekiel
Advisor
Hokit, Grant
Editor
Date of Issue
2024
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Title
Investigating the Potential Transmission of Malaria within the State of Montana
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Presentation
Description
Abstract
Since June of 2023, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has reported four cases of locally transmitted malaria in the United States. The vector for the malaria Plasmodium is the Anopheles genus mosquito. Anopheles mosquitoes are typically found in non-arboreal, palustrine wetlands, a habitat that encompasses much of the state of Montana. Given the risk due to the presence of malaria vectors in the state, this study will determine the areas of the state most susceptible to local transmission of the pathogen. We hypothesized that Anopheles's distribution would be positively correlated with higher mean annual temperatures and suitable palustrine water sources greater than 10m2. This experiment utilized 557 Anopheles sites surveyed between 2005-2019 in the state of Montana. To avoid spatial auto-correlation, sites were spatially filtered and compiled into ArcGIS, resulting in 156 replicates. A model was constructed comparing temperature or palustrine habitat availability and a Pearson’s correlation coefficient was calculated for each variable. To capture the amount of palustrine wetland near sites, buffers of 5 kilometers were created in GIS around each mosquito site. Preliminary results suggest that there was a positive correlation between palustrine water habitat and number of Anopheles and mean annual temperature and the number of Anopheles. However, these correlations only explained 14.8% and 1.15% of the variation, respectively.
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Biology