Predicted impacts of climate change on malaria transmission in West Africa

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Teresa K Yamana, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, United States and Elfatih A B Eltahir, MIT, Cambridge, MA, United States
Increases in temperature and changes in precipitation due to climate change are expected to alter the spatial distribution of malaria transmission. This is especially true in West Africa, where malaria prevalence follows the current north-south gradients in temperature and precipitation. We assess the skill of GCMs at simulating past and present climate in West Africa in order to select the most credible climate predictions for the periods 2030-2060 and 2070-2100. We then use the Hydrology, Entomology and Malaria Transmission Simulator (HYDREMATS), a mechanistic model of malaria transmission, to translate the predicted changes in climate into predicted changes availability of mosquito breeding sites, mosquito populations, and malaria prevalence. We investigate the role of acquired immunity in determining a population’s response to changes in exposure to the malaria parasite.