HIV-1 CRF02_AG accounts for >50% of infected individuals in Cameroon. CRF02_AG prevalence has been increasing both in Africa and Europe, particularly in Italy because of migrations from the sub-Saharan region. This study investigated the molecular epidemiology of CRF02_AG in Cameroon by employing Bayesian phylodynamics and analyzed the relationship between HIV-1 CRF02_AG isolates circulating in Italy and those prevalent in Africa to understand the link between the two epidemics. Among 291 Cameroonian reverse transcriptase sequences analyzed, about 70% clustered within three distinct clades, two of which shared a most recent common ancestor, all related to sequences from Western Africa. The major Cameroonian clades emerged during the mid-1970s and slowly spread during the next 30 years. Little or no geographic structure was detected within these clades. One of the major driving forces of the epidemic was likely the high accessibility between locations in Southern Cameroon contributing to the mobility of the population. The remaining Cameroonian sequences and the new strains isolated from Italian patients were interspersed mainly within West and Central African sequences in the tree, indicating a continuous exchange of CRF02_AG viral strains between Cameroon and other African countries, as well as multiple independent introductions in the Italian population. The evaluation of the spread of CRF02_AG may provide significant insight about the future dynamics of the Italian and European epidemic.
A better understanding of the impact of global climate change requires information on the locations and characteristics of populations affected. For instance, with global sea level predicted to rise and coastal flooding set to become more frequent and intense, high-resolution spatial population datasets are increasingly being used to estimate the size of vulnerable coastal populations. Many previous studies have undertaken this by quantifying the size of populations residing in low elevation coastal zones using one of two global spatial population datasets available – LandScan and the Global Rural Urban Mapping Project (GRUMP). This has been undertaken without consideration of the effects of this choice, which are a function of the quality of input datasets and differences in methods used to construct each spatial population dataset. Here we calculate estimated low elevation coastal zone resident population sizes from LandScan and GRUMP using previously adopted approaches, and quantify the absolute and relative differences achieved through switching datasets. Our findings suggest that the choice of one particular dataset over another can translate to a difference of more than 7.5 million vulnerable people for countries with extensive coastal populations, such as Indonesia and Japan. Our findings also show variations in estimates of proportions of national populations at risk range from <0.1% to 45% differences when switching between datasets, with large differences predominantly for countries where coarse and outdated input data were used in the construction of the spatial population datasets. The results highlight the need for the construction of spatial population datasets built on accurate, contemporary and detailed census data for use in climate change impact studies and the importance of acknowledging uncertainties inherent in existing spatial population datasets when estimating the demographic impacts of climate change.
Over the past century, the size and complexity of the air travel network has increased dramatically. Nowadays, there are 29.6 million scheduled flights per year and around 2.7 billion passengers are transported annually. The rapid expansion of the network increasingly connects regions of endemic vector-borne disease with the rest of the world, resulting in challenges to health systems worldwide in terms of vector-borne pathogen importation and disease vector invasion events. Here we describe the development of a user-friendly Web-based GIS tool: the Vector-Borne Disease Airline Importation Risk Tool (VBD-AIR), to help better define the roles of airports and airlines in the transmission and spread of vector-borne diseases.
Spatial datasets on modeled global disease and vector distributions, as well as climatic and air network traffic data were assembled. These were combined to derive relative risk metrics via air travel for imported infections, imported vectors and onward transmission, and incorporated into a three-tier server architecture in a Model-View-Controller framework with distributed GIS components. A user-friendly web-portal was built that enables dynamic querying of the spatial databases to provide relevant information.
The VBD-AIR tool constructed enables the user to explore the interrelationships among modeled global distributions of vector-borne infectious diseases (malaria. dengue, yellow fever and chikungunya) and international air service routes to quantify seasonally changing risks of vector and vector-borne disease importation and spread by air travel, forming an evidence base to help plan mitigation strategies. The VBD-AIR tool is available at http://www.vbd-air.com.
VBD-AIR supports a data flow that generates analytical results from disparate but complementary datasets into an organized cartographical presentation on a web map for the assessment of vector-borne disease movements on the air travel network. The framework built provides a flexible and robust informatics infrastructure by separating the modules of functionality through an ontological model for vector-borne disease. The VBD‒AIR tool is designed as an evidence base for visualizing the risks of vector-borne disease by air travel for a wide range of users, including planners and decisions makers based in state and local government, and in particular, those at international and domestic airports tasked with planning for health risks and allocating limited resources.
Infectious disease; Air transport network; Imported disease; Web GIS; Malaria; Dengue; Yellow fever; Chikungunya; Mosquito
The use of Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) in disease surveys and reporting is becoming increasingly routine, enabling a better understanding of spatial epidemiology and the improvement of surveillance and control strategies. In turn, the greater availability of spatially referenced epidemiological data is driving the rapid expansion of disease mapping and spatial modeling methods, which are becoming increasingly detailed and sophisticated, with rigorous handling of uncertainties. This expansion has, however, not been matched by advancements in the development of spatial datasets of human population distribution that accompany disease maps or spatial models.
Where risks are heterogeneous across population groups or space or dependent on transmission between individuals, spatial data on human population distributions and demographic structures are required to estimate infectious disease risks, burdens, and dynamics. The disease impact in terms of morbidity, mortality, and speed of spread varies substantially with demographic profiles, so that identifying the most exposed or affected populations becomes a key aspect of planning and targeting interventions. Subnational breakdowns of population counts by age and sex are routinely collected during national censuses and maintained in finer detail within microcensus data. Moreover, demographic and health surveys continue to collect representative and contemporary samples from clusters of communities in low-income countries where census data may be less detailed and not collected regularly. Together, these freely available datasets form a rich resource for quantifying and understanding the spatial variations in the sizes and distributions of those most at risk of disease in low income regions, yet at present, they remain unconnected data scattered across national statistical offices and websites.
In this paper we discuss the deficiencies of existing spatial population datasets and their limitations on epidemiological analyses. We review sources of detailed, contemporary, freely available and relevant spatial demographic data focusing on low income regions where such data are often sparse and highlight the value of incorporating these through a set of examples of their application in disease studies. Moreover, the importance of acknowledging, measuring, and accounting for uncertainty in spatial demographic datasets is outlined. Finally, a strategy for building an open-access database of spatial demographic data that is tailored to epidemiological applications is put forward.
Population; Epidemiology; Demography; Disease mapping
This paper presents an appraisal of satellite imagery types and texture measures for identifying and delineating settlements in four Districts of Kenya chosen to represent the variation in human ecology across the country. Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) and Japanese Earth Resources Satellite-1 (JERS-1) synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery of the four districts were obtained and supervised per-pixel classifications of image combinations tested for their efficacy at settlement delineation. Additional data layers including human population census data, land cover, and locations of medical facilities, villages, schools and market centres were used for training site identification and validation. For each district, the most accurate approach was determined through the best correspondence with known settlement and non-settlement pixels. The resulting settlement maps will be used in combination with census data to produce medium spatial resolution population maps for improved public health planning in Kenya.
Landsat TM; JERS-1 SAR; texture; settlement mapping; Kenya; public health
Staphylococcus aureus is a common cause of infections that has undergone rapid global spread over recent decades. Formal phylogeographic methods have not yet been applied to the molecular epidemiology of bacterial pathogens because the limited genetic diversity of data sets based on individual genes usually results in poor phylogenetic resolution. Here, we investigated a whole-genome single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data set of health care-associated Methicillin-resistant S. aureus sequence type 239 (HA-MRSA ST239) strains, which we analyzed using Markov spatial models that incorporate geographical sampling distributions. The reconstructed timescale indicated a temporal origin of this strain shortly after the introduction of Methicillin, followed by global pandemic spread. The estimate of the temporal origin was robust to the molecular clock, coalescent prior, full/intergenic/synonymous SNP inclusion, and correction for excluded invariant site patterns. Finally, phylogeographic analyses statistically supported the role of human movement in the global dissemination of HA-MRSA ST239, although it was unable to conclusively resolve the location of the root. This study demonstrates that bacterial genomes can indeed contain sufficient evolutionary information to elucidate the temporal and spatial dynamics of transmission. Future applications of this approach to other bacterial strains may provide valuable epidemiological insights that may justify the cost of genome-wide typing.
Bayesian inférence; phylogeography; phylogenetics; measurably evolving population
Earth-observing satellites have only recently been exploited for the measurement of environmental variables of relevance to epidemiology and public health. Such work has relied on sensors with spatial, spectral and geometric constraints that have allowed large-area questions associated with the epidemiology of vector-borne diseases to be addressed. Moving from pretty maps to pragmatic control tools requires a suite of satellite-derived environmental data of higher fidelity, spatial resolution, spectral depth and at similar temporal resolutions to existing meteorological satellites. Information derived from sensors onboard the next generation of moderate-resolution Earth-observing sensors may provide the key. The MODIS and ASTER sensors onboard the Terra and Aqua platforms provide substantial improvements in spatial resolution, number of spectral channels, choices of bandwidths, radiometric calibration and a much-enhanced set of pre-processed and freely available products. These sensors provide an important advance in moderate-resolution remote sensing and the data available to those concerned with improving public health.
Remote sensing; Terra; Aqua; MODIS; ASTER; Vector-borne diseases
Modelling studies on the spatial distribution and spread of infectious diseases are becoming increasingly detailed and sophisticated, with global risk mapping and epidemic modelling studies now popular. Yet, in deriving populations at risk of disease estimates, these spatial models must rely on existing global and regional datasets on population distribution, which are often based on outdated and coarse resolution data. Moreover, a variety of different methods have been used to model population distribution at large spatial scales. In this review we describe the main global gridded population datasets that are freely available for health researchers and compare their construction methods, and highlight the uncertainties inherent in these population datasets. We review their application in past studies on disease risk and dynamics, and discuss how the choice of dataset can affect results. Moreover, we highlight how the lack of contemporary, detailed and reliable data on human population distribution in low income countries is proving a barrier to obtaining accurate large-scale estimates of population at risk and constructing reliable models of disease spread, and suggest research directions required to further reduce these barriers.
Human population; Global; Infectious diseases; Spatial demography; Health metrics
The spatial distribution of populations and settlements across a country and their interconnectivity and accessibility from urban areas are important for delivering healthcare, distributing resources and economic development. However, existing spatially explicit population data across Africa are generally based on outdated, low resolution input demographic data, and provide insufficient detail to quantify rural settlement patterns and, thus, accurately measure population concentration and accessibility. Here we outline approaches to developing a new high resolution population distribution dataset for Africa and analyse rural accessibility to population centers. Contemporary population count data were combined with detailed satellite-derived settlement extents to map population distributions across Africa at a finer spatial resolution than ever before. Substantial heterogeneity in settlement patterns, population concentration and spatial accessibility to major population centres is exhibited across the continent. In Africa, 90% of the population is concentrated in less than 21% of the land surface and the average per-person travel time to settlements of more than 50,000 inhabitants is around 3.5 hours, with Central and East Africa displaying the longest average travel times. The analyses highlight large inequities in access, the isolation of many rural populations and the challenges that exist between countries and regions in providing access to services. The datasets presented are freely available as part of the AfriPop project, providing an evidence base for guiding strategic decisions.
Transmission intensity affects almost all aspects of malaria epidemiology and the impact of malaria on human populations. Maps of transmission intensity are necessary to identify populations at different levels of risk and to evaluate objectively options for disease control. To remain relevant operationally, such maps must be updated frequently. Following the first global effort to map Plasmodium falciparum malaria endemicity in 2007, this paper describes the generation of a new world map for the year 2010. This analysis is extended to provide the first global estimates of two other metrics of transmission intensity for P. falciparum that underpin contemporary questions in malaria control: the entomological inoculation rate (PfEIR) and the basic reproductive number (PfR).
Annual parasite incidence data for 13,449 administrative units in 43 endemic countries were sourced to define the spatial limits of P. falciparum transmission in 2010 and 22,212 P. falciparum parasite rate (PfPR) surveys were used in a model-based geostatistical (MBG) prediction to create a continuous contemporary surface of malaria endemicity within these limits. A suite of transmission models were developed that link PfPR to PfEIR and PfR and these were fitted to field data. These models were combined with the PfPR map to create new global predictions of PfEIR and PfR. All output maps included measured uncertainty.
An estimated 1.13 and 1.44 billion people worldwide were at risk of unstable and stable P. falciparum malaria, respectively. The majority of the endemic world was predicted with a median PfEIR of less than one and a median PfRc of less than two. Values of either metric exceeding 10 were almost exclusive to Africa. The uncertainty described in both PfEIR and PfR was substantial in regions of intense transmission.
The year 2010 has a particular significance as an evaluation milestone for malaria global health policy. The maps presented here contribute to a rational basis for control and elimination decisions and can serve as a baseline assessment as the global health community looks ahead to the next series of milestones targeted at 2015.
This study examines the utility of NASA’s circa 1990 and circa 2000 global orthorectified Landsat dataset for land cover and land use change mapping and monitoring across Africa. This is achieved by comparing the temporal and spatial variation of NDVI, measured independently by the NOAA-AVHRR at the time of Landsat scene acquisition, against the seasonal mean for each Landsat scene extent. Decadal sequences of drift-corrected NOAA-AVHRR imagery were used to calculate NDVI means and standard deviations for the periods covered by the scenes composing the c.1990 and c.2000 Landsat datasets. The specific NOAA-AVHRR NDVI values at the acquisition date of each individual Landsat scene were also calculated and the differences, both from the mean and scaled by standard deviation, were mapped for the Landsat scene footprints in the c.1990 and c.2000 datasets. The resulting maps show the temporal position of each Landsat scene within the seasonal NDVI cycle, and provide a valuable guide to assist in quantifying uncertainty and interpreting land cover and land use changes inferred from these Landsat data.
Background malaria-control programs are increasingly dependent on accurate risk maps to effectively guide the allocation of interventions and resources. Advances in model-based geostatistics and geographical information systems (GIS) have enabled researchers to better understand factors affecting malaria transmission and thus, more accurately determine the limits of malaria transmission globally and nationally. Here, we construct Plasmodium falciparum risk maps for Bangladesh for 2007 at a scale enabling the malaria-control bodies to more accurately define the needs of the program. A comprehensive malaria-prevalence survey (N = 9,750 individuals; N = 354 communities) was carried out in 2007 across the regions of Bangladesh known to be endemic for malaria. Data were corrected to a standard age range of 2 to less than 10 years. Bayesian geostatistical logistic regression models with environmental covariates were used to predict P. falciparum prevalence for 2- to 10-year-old children (PfPR2–10) across the endemic areas of Bangladesh. The predictions were combined with gridded population data to estimate the number of individuals living in different endemicity classes. Across the endemic areas, the average PfPR2–10 was 3.8%. Environmental variables selected for prediction were vegetation cover, minimum temperature, and elevation. Model validation statistics revealed that the final Bayesian geostatistical model had good predictive ability. Risk maps generated from the model showed a heterogeneous distribution of PfPR2–10 ranging from 0.5% to 50%; 3.1 million people were estimated to be living in areas with a PfPR2–10 greater than 1%. Contemporary GIS and model-based geostatistics can be used to interpolate malaria risk in Bangladesh. Importantly, malaria risk was found to be highly varied across the endemic regions, necessitating the targeting of resources to reduce the burden in these areas.
The INDEPTH DSS network was founded in 1998 to provide an international network of field sites for continuous demographic evaluation of populations and their health. Results from the network have been used to derive estimates of mortality, morbidity and health equity. Spatial extrapolation and logical summaries of these findings are dependent on the network covering a representative sample of the environments in a region and their interrelationships being known. Here, we investigate how comprehensive is the coverage of the network of rural DSS sites in Africa in terms of the range of ecological zones found across the continent.
We used satellite imagery to define an environmental signature for each INDEPTH DSS site, and then calculate Euclidean distances from these signatures to the environmental signatures of every image pixel across Africa. These distances were then mapped and a gridded population surface used to mask uninhabited areas to illustrate the extent of the environmental coverage of the INDEPTH network. Environmental similarities between DSS sites were also calculated, hierarchically clustered and visualized as a dendrogram to examine between site relationships. Finally, an ecozonation of Africa was used to analyse the per-ecozone environmental similarity of the INDEPTH DSS network.
RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS
The current INDEPTH DSS network in Africa spans all the major environmental zones, but within these zones the environmental coverage of the network varies. These variations were mapped by ecozone. These maps provide valuable information in determining the confidence with which relationships derived from rural INDEPTH DSS sites can be extended to other areas. The results also indicate suites of sites that form environmentally cohesive groups and from which data can be logically summarized. Finally, the results highlight areas where the location of new INDEPTH DSS sites would increase significantly the environmental coverage of the network.
demographic surveillance; INDEPTH network; satellite imagery; environmental distance; ecozonation; dendrogram
The prevalence of Plasmodium falciparum malaria in Zanzibar has reached historic lows. Improving control requires quantifying malaria importation rates, identifying high-risk travelers, and assessing onwards transmission.
Estimates of Zanzibar's importation rate were calculated through two independent methodologies. First, mobile phone usage data and ferry traffic between Zanzibar and mainland Tanzania were re-analyzed using a model of heterogeneous travel risk. Second, a dynamic mathematical model of importation and transmission rates was used.
Zanzibar residents traveling to malaria endemic regions were estimated to contribute 1–15 times more imported cases than infected visitors. The malaria importation rate was estimated to be 1.6 incoming infections per 1,000 inhabitants per year. Local transmission was estimated too low to sustain transmission in most places.
Malaria infections in Zanzibar largely result from imported malaria and subsequent transmission. Plasmodium falciparum malaria elimination appears feasible by implementing control measures based on detecting imported malaria cases and controlling onward transmission.
Peter Gething and Andrew Tatem discuss the potential impact of mobile phone positioning data on disaster response and highlight challenges that must be addressed if use of this technology is to develop.
The aim of this review was to use geographic information systems in combination with historical maps to quantify the anthropogenic impact on the distribution of malaria in the 20th century. The nature of the cartographic record enabled global and regional patterns in the spatial limits of malaria to be investigated at six intervals between 1900 and 2002. Contemporaneous population surfaces also allowed changes in the numbers of people living in areas of malaria risk to be quantified. These data showed that during the past century, despite human activities reducing by half the land area supporting malaria, demographic changes resulted in a 2 billion increase in the total population exposed to malaria risk. Furthermore, stratifying the present day malaria extent by endemicity class and examining regional differences highlighted that nearly 1 billion people are exposed to hypoendemic and mesoendemic malaria in southeast Asia. We further concluded that some distortion in estimates of the regional distribution of malaria burden could have resulted from different methods used to calculate burden in Africa. Crude estimates of the national prevalence of Plasmodium falciparum infection based on endemicity maps corroborate these assertions. Finally, population projections for 2010 were used to investigate the potential effect of future demographic changes. These indicated that although population growth will not substantially change the regional distribution of people at malaria risk, around 400 million births will occur within the boundary of current distribution of malaria by 2010: the date by which the Roll Back Malaria initiative is challenged to halve the world’s malaria burden.
Many attempts have been made to quantify Africa’s malaria burden but none has addressed how urbanization will affect disease transmission and outcome, and therefore mortality and morbidity estimates. In 2003, 39% of Africa’s 850 million people lived in urban settings; by 2030, 54% of Africans are expected to do so. We present the results of a series of entomological, parasitological and behavioural meta-analyses of studies that have investigated the effect of urbanization on malaria in Africa. We describe the effect of urbanization on both the impact of malaria transmission and the concomitant improvements in access to preventative and curative measures. Using these data, we have recalculated estimates of populations at risk of malaria and the resulting mortality. We find there were 1,068,505 malaria deaths in Africa in 2000 — a modest 6.7% reduction over previous iterations. The public-health implications of these findings and revised estimates are discussed.
Social networks can be organized into communities of closely connected nodes, a property known as modularity. Because diseases, information, and behaviors spread faster within communities than between communities, understanding modularity has broad implications for public policy, epidemiology and the social sciences. Explanations for community formation in social networks often incorporate the attributes of individual people, such as gender, ethnicity or shared activities. High modularity is also a property of large-scale social networks, where each node represents a population of individuals at a location, such as call flow between mobile phone towers. However, whether or not place-based attributes, including land cover and economic activity, can predict community membership for network nodes in large-scale networks remains unknown. We describe the pattern of modularity in a mobile phone communication network in the Dominican Republic, and use a linear discriminant analysis (LDA) to determine whether geographic context can explain community membership. Our results demonstrate that place-based attributes, including sugar cane production, urbanization, distance to the nearest airport, and wealth, correctly predicted community membership for over 70% of mobile phone towers. We observed a strongly positive correlation (r = 0.97) between the modularity score and the predictive ability of the LDA, suggesting that place-based attributes can accurately represent the processes driving modularity. In the absence of social network data, the methods we present can be used to predict community membership over large scales using solely place-based attributes.
Spatially accurate, contemporary data on human population distributions are vitally important to many applied and theoretical researchers. The Southeast Asia region has undergone rapid urbanization and population growth over the past decade, yet existing spatial population distribution datasets covering the region are based principally on population count data from censuses circa 2000, with often insufficient spatial resolution or input data to map settlements precisely. Here we outline approaches to construct a database of GIS-linked circa 2010 census data and methods used to construct fine-scale (∼100 meters spatial resolution) population distribution datasets for each country in the Southeast Asia region. Landsat-derived settlement maps and land cover information were combined with ancillary datasets on infrastructure to model population distributions for 2010 and 2015. These products were compared with those from two other methods used to construct commonly used global population datasets. Results indicate mapping accuracies are consistently higher when incorporating land cover and settlement information into the AsiaPop modelling process. Using existing data, it is possible to produce detailed, contemporary and easily updatable population distribution datasets for Southeast Asia. The 2010 and 2015 datasets produced are freely available as a product of the AsiaPop Project and can be downloaded from: www.asiapop.org.
The spatial modeling of infectious disease distributions and dynamics is increasingly being undertaken for health services planning and disease control monitoring, implementation, and evaluation. Where risks are heterogeneous in space or dependent on person-to-person transmission, spatial data on human population distributions are required to estimate infectious disease risks, burdens, and dynamics. Several different modeled human population distribution datasets are available and widely used, but the disparities among them and the implications for enumerating disease burdens and populations at risk have not been considered systematically. Here, we quantify some of these effects using global estimates of populations at risk (PAR) of P. falciparum malaria as an example.
The recent construction of a global map of P. falciparum malaria endemicity enabled the testing of different gridded population datasets for providing estimates of PAR by endemicity class. The estimated population numbers within each class were calculated for each country using four different global gridded human population datasets: GRUMP (~1 km spatial resolution), LandScan (~1 km), UNEP Global Population Databases (~5 km), and GPW3 (~5 km). More detailed assessments of PAR variation and accuracy were conducted for three African countries where census data were available at a higher administrative-unit level than used by any of the four gridded population datasets.
The estimates of PAR based on the datasets varied by more than 10 million people for some countries, even accounting for the fact that estimates of population totals made by different agencies are used to correct national totals in these datasets and can vary by more than 5% for many low-income countries. In many cases, these variations in PAR estimates comprised more than 10% of the total national population. The detailed country-level assessments suggested that none of the datasets was consistently more accurate than the others in estimating PAR. The sizes of such differences among modeled human populations were related to variations in the methods, input resolution, and date of the census data underlying each dataset. Data quality varied from country to country within the spatial population datasets.
Detailed, highly spatially resolved human population data are an essential resource for planning health service delivery for disease control, for the spatial modeling of epidemics, and for decision-making processes related to public health. However, our results highlight that for the low-income regions of the world where disease burden is greatest, existing datasets display substantial variations in estimated population distributions, resulting in uncertainty in disease assessments that utilize them. Increased efforts are required to gather contemporary and spatially detailed demographic data to reduce this uncertainty, particularly in Africa, and to develop population distribution modeling methods that match the rigor, sophistication, and ability to handle uncertainty of contemporary disease mapping and spread modeling. In the meantime, studies that utilize a particular spatial population dataset need to acknowledge the uncertainties inherent within them and consider how the methods and data that comprise each will affect conclusions.
The current and potential future impact of climate change on malaria is of major public health interest1,2. The proposed effects of rising global temperatures on the future spread and intensification of the disease3-5, and on existing malaria morbidity and mortality rates3, substantively influence global health policy6,7. The contemporary spatial limits of Plasmodium falciparum malaria and its endemicity within this range8, when compared with comparable historical maps, offer unique insights into the changing global epidemiology of malaria over the last century. It has long been known that the range of malaria has contracted through a century of economic development and disease control9. Here, for the first time, we quantify this contraction and the global decreases in malaria endemicity since c. 1900. We compare the magnitude of these changes to the size of effects on malaria endemicity hypothesised under future climate scenarios and associated with widely used public health interventions. Our findings have two key and often ignored implications with respect to climate change and malaria. First, widespread claims that rising mean temperatures have already led to increases in worldwide malaria morbidity and mortality are largely at odds with observed decreasing global trends in both its endemicity and geographic extent. Second, the proposed future effects of rising temperatures on endemicity are at least one order of magnitude smaller than changes observed since c. 1900 and up to two orders of magnitude smaller than those that can be achieved by the effective scale-up of key control measures. Predictions of an intensification of malaria in a warmer world, based on extrapolated empirical relationships or biological mechanisms, must be set against a context of a century of warming that has seen dramatic global declines in the disease and a substantial weakening of the global correlation between malaria endemicity and climate.