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Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2003 Jan;68(1):10-7.

Risk mapping of visceral leishmaniasis: the role of local variation in rainfall and altitude on the presence and incidence of kala-azar in eastern Sudan.

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Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, University of Khartoum, Sudan.


Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is a vector-borne disease highly influenced by environmental factors. A model was developed for mapping the distribution and incidence of VL in Gedaref State, eastern Sudan, in relation to different environmental factors. Geographical information systems (GIS) were used to extract and map regression results for environmental variables of 190 villages in Gedaref State, including rainfall, vegetation status, soil type, altitude, distance from river, topography, wetness indexes, and average rainfall estimates. VL incidence in each village was calculated from hospital records. By use of logistic and linear multivariate regression analyses, models were developed to determine which environmental factors explain variability in VL presence and incidence. We found that average rainfall and the altitude were the best predictors of VL incidence. The resulting models were mapped by GIS software predicting both VL presence or absence and incidence at any locality in Gedaref State. The results are discussed in relation to VL control.

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