An application of remotely derived climatological fields for risk assessment of vector-borne diseases: A spatial study of filariasis prevalence in the Nile delta, Egypt

M. K. Crombie, R. R. Gillies, R. E. Arvidson, P. Brookmeyer, G. J. Weill, M. Sultan, M. Harb

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper applies a relatively straightforward remote sensing method that is commonly used to derive climatological variables. Measurements of surface reflectance and surface radiant temperature derived from Landsat Thematic Mapper data were used to create maps of fractional vegetation and surface soil moisture availability for the southern Nile delta in Egypt. These climatological variables were subsequently used to investigate the spatial distribution of the vector borne disease Bancroftian filariasis in the Nile delta where it is focally endemic and a growing problem. Averaged surface soil moisture values, computed for a 5-km border area around affected villages, were compared to filariasis prevalence rates. Prevalence rates were found to be negligible below a critical soil moisture value of 0.2, presumably because of a lack of appropriate breeding sites for the Culex Pipiens mosquito species. With appropriate modifications to account for local conditions and vector species, this approach should be useful as a means to map, predict, and control insect vector-borne diseases that critically depend on wet areas for propagation. This type of analysis may help governments and health agencies that are involved in filariasis control to better focus limited resources to identifiable 'high-risk' areas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1401-1409
Number of pages9
JournalPhotogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing
Volume65
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 1999

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