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J Vector Borne Dis. 2019 Apr-Jun;56(2):127-133. doi: 10.4103/0972-9062.263726.

Ecological niche modeling for the prediction of cutaneous leishmaniasis epidemiology in current and projected future in Adana, Turkey.

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Cukurova University, Karaisali Vocational School, Karaisali, Adana, Turkey.


Background & objectives:

Cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) is widespread in the tropical and subtropical regions of the world including, Tukey. Environmental determinants for the CL endemic areas in Turkey are relatively poorly understood. The aim of the present study was to develop a model based on ecological niche modeling (ENM) to predict the distribution of CL in endemic areas of Adana Province in Turkey.


The environmental data from different sources were extracted and information on 1831 native CL cases, obtained from the Provincial Health Directorate of Adana were recorded. The location information obtained from the Ministry of Health database were used for modeling the current probability of CL occurrence and predicting its future distribution using ENM analyses. ArcGIS and MaxEnt models were used to explore the ecological conditions of the disease.


According to the MaxEnt model, the area under the curve (AUC) values for the current and projected future of CL were 0.868 and 0.867, respectively. The environmental variables, Bio1 (Annual mean temperature), Bio4 (Temperature seasonality) and DEM (Digital elevation model) were found to be associated with the presence of human cases of Leishmania infantum for both the time periods in the study area.

Interpretation & conclusion:

The AUC curves and risk map generated by the ENM model indicate that the future status of CL is likely to be stable in the northern part of Adana, but the southern part will be affected by climate changes (change of temperature) with a large number of patient-reporting. The results of the study could be used as a reference for CL and vector control studies. The ENM could be useful for researchers in vector control studies and better understanding of the epidemiology of vector-borne diseases in a specific area.


Adana; MaxEnt; Turkey; cutaneous leishmaniasis; ecological niche modeling

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