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Assessment of the risk of malaria re-introduction in the Maremma plain (Central Italy) using a multi-factorial approach

Roberto Romi1*, Daniela Boccolini1, Roberto Vallorani24, Francesco Severini1, Luciano Toma1, Maurizio Cocchi3, Angelo Tamburro3, Gianni Messeri4, Antonio Crisci4, Luca Angeli2, Roberto Costantini2, Irene Raffaelli3, Giorgio Pontuale3, Isabelle Thiéry5, Annie Landier5, Gilbert Le Goff6, Anna Maria Fausto7 and Marco Di Luca1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Infectious, Parasitic and Immuno-mediated Diseases, Unit of Vector Borne Diseases, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Viale Regina Elena 299, Rome 00161, Italy

2 Consorzio LAMMA, Laboratory of Monitoring and Environmental Modelling for Sustainable Development Sesto Fiorentino, Florence, Italy

3 Operative Unit of Environmental Zoology, AUSL 9, Grosseto, Italy

4 Institute of Biometeorology, National Research Council, Florence, Italy

5 Institut Pasteur, Plateforme CEPIA Département de Parasitologie et Mycologie, Paris, France

6 UMR MIVEGEC, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, Montpellier, France

7 IBAF Department, Università della Tuscia, Viterbo, Italy

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Malaria Journal 2012, 11:98  doi:10.1186/1475-2875-11-98

Published: 30 March 2012

First paragraph (this article has no abstract)

In recent years, the increase in globalization [1], the rise in the average temperature of the earth together with an increasing frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, as storms, floods and droughts [2,3], and the environmental changes induced by human activities [4], have raised the concern about the possible introduction or reintroduction of Vector Borne Diseases in Countries where these were absent or eradicated [5]. These considerations, coupled with the recent spread of some mosquito vector borne diseases in Europe [6,7] and the increasing number of imported malaria cases recorded in the Continent [8] have renewed interest in the possible reintroduction of malaria in Southern Europe [7-9], particularly in the countries facing the Western Mediterranean Basin, where potential Anopheline vectors are still present [10-13]. Moreover, in recent years autochthonous malaria cases have been sporadically reported in Italy, France, Spain and Greece [14-20].

Keywords:
Mosquito-borne diseases; Residual anophelism; Anopheles labranchiae; Vectorial capacity; Climate change; Plasmodium falciparum; Experimental infection