Volume 81, Issue 6
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


Spatial and temporal variations in the distribution of anopheline larval habitats and land use and land cover (LULC) changes can influence malaria transmission intensity. This information is important for understanding the environmental determinants of malaria transmission heterogeneity, and it is critical to the study of the effects of environmental changes on malaria transmission. In this study, we investigated the spatial and temporal variations in the distribution of anopheline larval habitats and LULC changes in western Kenya highlands over a 4-year period. complex larvae were mainly confined to valley bottoms during both the dry and wet seasons. Although larvae were located in man-made habitats where riparian forests and natural swamps had been cleared, larvae were mainly found in permanent habitats in pastures. The association between land cover type and occurrence of anopheline larvae was statistically significant. The distribution of anopheline positive habitats varied significantly between months, during the survey. In 2004, the mean density of was significantly higher during the month of May, whereas the density of peaked significantly in February. Over the study period, major LULC changes occurred mostly in the valley bottoms. Overall, farmland increased by 3.9%, whereas both pastures and natural swamps decreased by 8.9% and 20.9%, respectively. The area under forest cover was decreased by 5.8%. Land-use changes in the study area are favorable to larval development, thereby risking a more widespread distribution of malaria vector habitats and potentially increasing malaria transmission in western Kenya highlands.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...



  1. Greenwood BM, 1989. The micro-epidemiology of malaria and its importance to malaria control. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 83: 25–29.
  2. Awono-Ambene HP, Robert V, 1999. Survival and emergence of immature Anopheles arabiensis mosquitoes in market-gardener wells in Dakar, Senegal. Parasite 6: 179–184.
  3. Carter R, Mendis KN, Roberts D, 2000. Spatial targeting of interventions against malaria. Bull World Health Organ 78: 1402–1411.
  4. Edillo FE, Toure YT, Lanzaro GC, Dolo G, Taylor CE, 2002. Spatial and habitat distribution of Anopheles gambiae and Anopheles arabiensis (Diptera: Culicidae) in Banambani village, Mali. J Med Entomol 39: 70–77.
  5. Shililu J, Ghebremeskel T, Seulu F, Mengistu S, Fekadu H, Zerom M, Ghebregziabiher A, Sintasath D, Bretas G, Mbogo C, Githure J, Brantly E, Novak R, Beier JC, 2003. Larval habitat diversity and ecology of anopheline larvae in Eritrea. J Med Entomol 40: 921–929.
  6. Malakooti MA, Biomndo K, Shanks GD, 1998. Reemergence of epidemic malaria in the highlands of western Kenya. Emerg Infect Dis 4: 671–676.
  7. Lindblade KA, Walker ED, Onapa AW, Katungu J, Wilson ML, 1999. Highland malaria in Uganda: prospective analysis of an epidemic associated with El Nino. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 93: 480–487.
  8. Shanks GD, Biomndo K, Hay SI, Snow RW, 2000. Changing patterns of clinical malaria since 1965 among a tea estate population located in the Kenyan highlands. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 94: 253–255.
  9. Lindblade KA, Walker ED, Onapa AW, Katungu J, Wilson ML, 2000. Land use change alters malaria transmission parameters by modifying temperature in a highland area of Uganda. Trop Med Int Health 5: 263–274.
  10. Lindsay SW, Martens WJM, 1998. Malaria in the African highlands: past, present and future. Bull World Health Organ 76: 33–45.
  11. Mouchet J, Manguin S, Sircoulon J, Laventure S, Faye O, Onapa AW, Carnevale P, Julvez J, Fontenille D, 1998. Evolution of malaria in Africa for the past 40 years: impact of climatic and human factors. J Am Mosq Control Assoc 14: 121–130.
  12. Githeko AK, Lindsay SW, Confalonieri UE, Patz JA, 2000. Climate change and vector-borne diseases: a regional analysis. Bull World Health Organ 78: 1136–1147.
  13. Zhou G, Minakawa N, Githeko AK, Yan G, 2004. Spatial distribution patterns of malaria vectors and sample size determination in spatially heterogenous environments: a case study in the western Kenya highland. J Med Entomol 41: 1001–1009.
  14. Minakawa N, Munga S, Atieli FK, Mushinzimana E, Zhou G, Githeko AK, Yan G, 2005. Spatial distribution of anopheline larval habitats in western Kenya highlands: effects of land cover types and topography. Am J Trop Med Hyg 73: 157–165.
  15. Munga S, Minakawa N, Zhou G, Mushinzimana E, Okeyo-Owuor JB, Githeko AK, Yan G, 2006. Association between land cover and habitat productivity of malaria vectors in western Kenyan highlands. Am J Trop Med Hyg 74: 69–75.
  16. Hii JLK, Smith T, Mai A, Mellor S, Lewis D, Alexander N, Alpers MP, 1997. Spatial and temporal variation in abundance of Anopheles (Diptera: Culicidae) in a malaria endemic area in Papua New Guines. J Med Entomol 34: 193–205.
  17. Jacob B, Regens JL, Mbogo CM, Githeko AK, Keating J, Swalm CM, Gunter JT, Githure JI, Beier JC, 2003. Occurrence and distribution of Anopheles (Diptera: Culicidae) larval habitats on land cover change sites in urban Kisumu and urban Malindi, Kenya. J Med Entomol 40: 777–784.
  18. Zhou G, Minakawa N, Githeko AK, Yan G, 2004a. Association between climate variability and malaria epidemics in the East African highlands. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 101: 2375–2380.
  19. Whitmore TC, 1997. Tropical forest disturbance, disappearance, and species loss. Laurence WL, Bierregaard Jr RO, eds. Tropical Forest Remnants. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2–28.
  20. Gillies MT, De Meillon B, 1968. The Anopheline of Africa South of the Sahara. Johannesburg: The South African Institute for Medical Research.
  21. Gillies MT, Coetzee M, 1987. A Supplement to the Anopheline of Africa South of Sahara. Johannesburg: The South African Institute for Medical research.
  22. Nations U, 2003. World Population Prospects: The 2002 Revision. New York: United Nations.
  23. Brooks TM, Pimm SL, Oyugi JO, 1999. Time lag between deforestation and bird extinction in tropical forest fragments. Conserv Biol 13: 1140–1150.
  24. Munga S, Minakawa N, Zhou G, Githeko AK, Yan G, 2007. Survivorship of immature stages of Anopheles gambiae s.l. (Diptera: Culicidae) in natural habitats in western Kenya highlands. J Med Entomol 44: 758–764.
  25. Munga S, Minakawa N, Zhou G, Okeyo-Owuor JB, Githeko AK, Yan G, 2005. Oviposition site preference and egg hatchability of Anopheles gambiae: effects of land cover types. J Med Entomol 42: 993–997.
  26. Afrane Y, Zhou G, Lawson BW, Githeko AK, Yan G, 2006. Effects of microclimatic changes caused by deforestation on the survivorship and reproductive fitness of Anopheles gambiae in western Kenya highlands. Am J Trop Med Hyg 74: 772–778.
  27. Afrane Y, Little TJ, Lawson BW, Githeko AK, Yan G, 2008. Deforestation and vectorial capacity of Anopheles gambiae Giles mosquitoes in malaria transmission, Kenya. Emerg Infect Dis 14: 1533–1538.
  28. Patz J, Daszak P, Tabor G, Aguirre A, Pearl M, Epstein J, Wolfe N, Kilpatrick A, Foufopoulos J, Molyneux D, Bradley D, 2004. Unhealthy landscapes: policy recommendations on land use change and infectious disease emergence. Environ Health Perspect 112: 1092–1098.
  29. Vittor AY, Pan W, Gilman RH, Tielsch J, Glass G, Shields T, Sánchez-Lozano W, Pinedo VV, Salas-Cobos E, Flores S, Patz JA, 2009. Linking deforestation to malaria in the Amazon: characterization of the creeding habitat of the principal malaria vector, Anopheles darling. Am J Trop Med Hyg 81: 5–12.
  30. Vittor AY, Gilman RH, Tielsch J, Glass G, Shields T, Sánchez-Lozano W, Pinedo-Cancino V, Patz JA, 2006. The effect of deforestation on the human biting rate Anopheles darling, the primary vector of falciparum malaria in Peruvian Amazon. Am J Trop Med Hyg 74: 3–11.
  31. Mutuku FM, Bayo NM, Hightower AW, Vulule JM, Gimnig JE, Mueke JM, Amimo FA and Walker ED, 2009. A supervised land cover classification of a western Kenya lowland endemic for human malaria: associations of land cover with larval Anopheles habitats. Int J Health Geogr 8: 19.
  32. Githeko AK, Ayisi JM, Odada PK, Atieli FK, Ndenga BA, Githure JI, Yan G, 2006. Topography and malaria transmission heterogeneity in western Kenya highlands: prospects for focal vector control. Malar J 5: 107.
  33. Munyekenye OG, Githeko AK, Zhou G, Mushinzimana E, Minakawa N, Yan G, 2005. Plasmodium falciparum spatial analysis, western Kenya highlands. Emerg Infect Dis 11: 1571–1577.

Data & Media loading...

  • Received : 23 Mar 2009
  • Accepted : 08 Sep 2009

Most Cited This Month

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error