Short communication: Negative spatial association between lymphatic filariasis and malaria in West Africa

Louise A. Kelly-Hope, Peter J. Diggle, Barry S. Rowlingson, John O. Gyapong, Dominique Kyelem, Michael Coleman, Madeleine C. Thomson, Valerie Obsomer, Steve W. Lindsay, Janet Hemingway, David H. Molyneux

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: To determine the relationship between human lymphatic filariasis, caused by Wuchereria bancrofti, and falciparum malaria, which are co-endemic throughout West Africa. METHODS: We used geographical information systems and spatial statistics to examine the prevalence of lymphatic filariasis in relation to malaria prevalence, mosquito species distributions, vegetation and climate. RESULTS: A negative spatial association between W. bancrofti and falciparum malaria prevalence exists. Interspecies competition between parasites, seasonality, differences in the distribution and vector competence of Anopheles vectors, agricultural practices and insecticide resistance may be factors driving current (and potentially future) spatial distributions. CONCLUSION: Further investigating these factors will become crucial as large-scale lymphatic filariasis and malaria control programmes are implemented in West Africa that may influence the epidemiology of both diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-135
Number of pages7
JournalTropical Medicine and International Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Anopheles
  • Climate
  • Environment
  • Epidemiology
  • Geographical information systems
  • Lymphatic filariasis
  • Malaria
  • Statistical modelling
  • Transmission
  • West Africa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Parasitology
  • Immunology


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