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EFFECT OF RICE CULTIVATION PATTERNS ON MALARIA VECTOR ABUNDANCE IN RICE-GROWING VILLAGES IN MALI

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  • 1 Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut; Malaria Research and Training Center, Faculté de Médecine, de Pharmacie et d’Odonto-Stomatologie, Université du Mali, Bamako, Mali; Organisation Mondiale de la Santé, Bureau Organisation Mondiale de la Santé du Gabon, Libreville, Gabon; Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Los Angeles, California

Irrigation for rice cultivation increases the production of Anopheles gambiae, the main vector of malaria in Mali. Mosquito abundance is highly variable across villages and seasons. We examined whether rice cultivation patterns mapped using remotely sensed imagery can account for some of this variance. We collected entomologic data and mapped land use around 18 villages in the two cropping seasons during two years. Land use classification accuracy ranged between 70% and 86%. The area of young rice explained 86% of the inter-village variability in An. gambiae abundance in August before the peak in malaria transmission. Estimating rice in a 900-meter buffer area around the villages resulted in the best correlation with mosquito abundance, larger buffer areas were optimum in the October and dry season models. The quantification of the relationship between An. gambiae abundance and rice cultivation could have management applications that merit further study.

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