Impact of Drought on the Spatial Pattern of Transmission of Schistosoma haematobium in Coastal Kenya

Francis M. Mutuku Department of Environmental Studies, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia; Division of Vector Borne and Neglected Tropical Diseases, Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation, Nairobi, Kenya; Center for Global Health and Diseases, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio

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Charles H. King Department of Environmental Studies, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia; Division of Vector Borne and Neglected Tropical Diseases, Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation, Nairobi, Kenya; Center for Global Health and Diseases, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio

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Amaya L. Bustinduy Department of Environmental Studies, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia; Division of Vector Borne and Neglected Tropical Diseases, Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation, Nairobi, Kenya; Center for Global Health and Diseases, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio

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Peter L. Mungai Department of Environmental Studies, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia; Division of Vector Borne and Neglected Tropical Diseases, Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation, Nairobi, Kenya; Center for Global Health and Diseases, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio

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Eric M. Muchiri Department of Environmental Studies, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia; Division of Vector Borne and Neglected Tropical Diseases, Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation, Nairobi, Kenya; Center for Global Health and Diseases, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio

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Uriel Kitron Department of Environmental Studies, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia; Division of Vector Borne and Neglected Tropical Diseases, Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation, Nairobi, Kenya; Center for Global Health and Diseases, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio

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We analyzed temporal changes in spatial patterns of active Schistosoma haematobium infection in different age groups and associated them with ponds infested with Bulinus snails. A major drought between 2001 and 2009 resulted in drying of ponds that were known sources of infection, and we detected very few or no snails in ponds that were infested in the past. The household-level spatial pattern of infection for children of various age groups in 2009 was contrasted with historical data from 2000. The significant local clustering of high- and low-infection levels among school-aged children that occurred in 2000 was absent in 2009. We attribute the disappearance of significant clustering around historical transmission hot spots to a decade-long drought in our study area. The implications of extreme weather and climate conditions on risk and transmission of S. haematobium and their relevance to control strategies are discussed.

Author Notes

*Address correspondence to Francis M. Mutuku, PO Box 5499, Diani 80401, Kenya. E-mail: fmutuku73@gmail.com

Financial support: This work was supported by National Institutes of Health Research Grant R01 TW 008067 funded by the National Institutes of Health/National Science Foundation Ecology of Infectious Diseases Program through the Fogarty International Center.

Authors' addresses: Francis M. Mutuku and Uriel Kitron, Department of Environmental Studies, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, E-mails: fmutuku73@gmail.com and ukitron@emory.edu. Charles H. King, Center for Global Health and Diseases, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, OH, E-mail: chk@case.edu. Amaya L. Bustinduy, Center for Global Health and Diseases, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, OH, and Department of Paediatrics, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, London, United Kingdom, E-mail: BustiA@gosh.nhs.uk. Peter L. Mungai, Filariasis-Schistosomiasis Research Unit, Division of Vector Borne Neglected and Tropical Diseases, Case Western Reserve University, Msambweni, Kenya, E-mail: plmungai@yahoo.com. Eric M. Muchiri, Division of Vector Borne Neglected and Tropical Diseases, Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation, Nairobi, Kenya, E-mail: ericmmuchiri@gmail.com.

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