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BACKGROUND: The decline in intensity of malaria transmission in many areas now emphasizes greater importance of understanding the epidemiology of low to moderate transmission settings. Marked heterogeneity in infection risk within these populations creates opportunities to understand transmission and guide resource allocation to greater impact. METHODS: In this study, we examined spatial patterns of malaria transmission in a hypo- to meso-endemic area of eastern Indonesia using malaria prevalence data collected from a cross-sectional socio-demographic and parasitological survey conducted from August to November 2010. An entomological survey performed in parallel, identified, mapped, and monitored local anopheline larval habitats. RESULTS: A single spatial cluster of higher malaria prevalence was detected during the study period (relative risk=2.13; log likelihood ratio=20.7; P<0.001). In hierarchical multivariate regression models, risk of parasitemia was inversely correlated with distance to five Anopheles sundaicus known larval habitats [odds ratio (OR)=0.21; 95% confidence interval (CI)=0.14-0.32; P<0.001], which were located in a geographically restricted band adjacent to the coastline. Increasing distance from these sites predicted increased hemoglobin level across age strata after adjusting for confounders (OR=1.6; 95% CI=1.30-1.98; P<0.001). CONCLUSION: Significant clustering of malaria parasitemia in close proximity to very specific and relatively few An. sundaicus larval habitats has direct implications for local control strategy, policy, and practice. These findings suggest that larval source management could achieve profound if not complete impact in this region.

Original publication




Journal article


Pathog Glob Health

Publication Date





369 - 380


Anopheles sundaicus,, Larval habitats,, Malaria risk factors,, Spatial scan statistic, Adolescent, Adult, Animals, Anopheles, Child, Child, Preschool, Cluster Analysis, Cross-Sectional Studies, Ecosystem, Female, Humans, Indonesia, Infant, Insect Vectors, Larva, Malaria, Male, Parasitemia, Plasmodium, Prevalence, Regression Analysis, Risk Factors, Spatial Analysis, Young Adult