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Malaria Journal

, 16:53

First Online: 31 January 2017Received: 08 November 2016Accepted: 20 January 2017DOI: 10.1186-s12936-017-1706-2

Cite this article as: Wu, Y., Qiao, Z., Wang, N. et al. Malar J 2017 16: 53. doi:10.1186-s12936-017-1706-2


BackgroundWhen discussing the relationship between meteorological factors and malaria, previous studies mainly focus on the interaction between different climatic factors, while the possible interaction within one particular climatic predictor at different lag periods has been largely neglected. In this study, this issue was investigated by exploring the interaction of lagged rainfalls and its impact on malaria epidemics, which is a typical example of those meteorological variables.

MethodsThe weekly data of malaria cases and three climatic variables of 30 counties in southwest China from 2004 to 2009 were analysed with the varying coefficient-distributed lag non-linear model. The correlation patterns of the 6th, 9th and 12th week lags would vary over different rainfall levels at the 4th-week lag.

ResultsThe non-linear patterns for rainfall at different rainfall levels are distinct from each other. In the low rainfall level at the 4th week lag, the increasing rainfall may promote the transmission of malaria. However, for the high rainfall level at the 4th week lag, evidence shows that the excessive rainfall decreases the risk of malaria.

ConclusionThis study reports for the first time that the interaction effect between lagged rainfalls on malaria exists, and highlights the importance of integrating the interaction between lagged predictors in relevant studies, which could help to better understand and predict malaria transmission.

KeywordsMalaria Rainfall Lag Nonlinear Interaction AbbreviationsDLNMdistributed lag non-linear model

logRRlogarithmic value of relative risk

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-s12936-017-1706-2 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Yunyun Wu - Zhijiao Qiao - Nan Wang - Hongjie Yu - Zijian Feng - Xiaosong Li - Xing Zhao


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