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Open Access Highly Accessed Research

Can slide positivity rates predict malaria transmission?

Yan Bi12, Wenbiao Hu3, Huaxin Liu4, Yujiang Xiao4, Yuming Guo1, Shimei Chen4, Laifa Zhao4 and Shilu Tong1*

Author Affiliations

1 School of Public Health and Social Work, Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Victoria Park Road, Kelvin Grove, 4059, Brisbane, Australia

2 Yunnan Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 158 Dongsi Road, 650022, Kunming, China

3 School of Population Health, University of Queensland, Herston Road, Herston, 4006, Brisbane, Australia

4 Mengla Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Mengla Nan Road, 666300, Xishuangbanna, China

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Malaria Journal 2012, 11:117  doi:10.1186/1475-2875-11-117

Published: 18 April 2012

Abstract

Background

Malaria is a significant threat to population health in the border areas of Yunnan Province, China. How to accurately measure malaria transmission is an important issue. This study aimed to examine the role of slide positivity rates (SPR) in malaria transmission in Mengla County, Yunnan Province, China.

Methods

Data on annual malaria cases, SPR and socio-economic factors for the period of 1993 to 2008 were obtained from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Bureau of Statistics, Mengla, China. Multiple linear regression models were conducted to evaluate the relationship between socio-ecologic factors and malaria incidence.

Results

The results show that SPR was significantly positively associated with the malaria incidence rates. The SPR (β = 1.244, p = 0.000) alone and combination (SPR, β = 1.326, p < 0.001) with other predictors can explain about 85% and 95% of variation in malaria transmission, respectively. Every 1% increase in SPR corresponded to an increase of 1.76/100,000 in malaria incidence rates.

Conclusion

SPR is a strong predictor of malaria transmission, and can be used to improve the planning and implementation of malaria elimination programmes in Mengla and other similar locations. SPR might also be a useful indicator of malaria early warning systems in China.

Keywords:
Malaria transmission; Slide positivity rates; Malaria elimination; International border areas; China