Spatio-temporal dynamics of Plasmodium falciparum transmission within a spatial unit on the Colombian Pacific Coast

Angélica Knudson, Felipe González-Casabianca, Alejandro Feged-Rivadeneira, Maria Fernanda Pedreros, Samanda Aponte, Adriana Olaya, Carlos F Castillo, Elvira Mancilla, Anderson Piamba-Dorado, Ricardo Sanchez-Pedraza, Myriam Janeth Salazar-Terreros, Naomi Lucchi, Venkatachalam Udhayakumar, Chris Jacob, Alena Pance, Manuela Carrasquilla, Giovanni Apráez, Jairo Andrés Angel, Julian C Rayner, Vladimir Corredor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


As malaria control programmes concentrate their efforts towards malaria elimination a better understanding of malaria transmission patterns at fine spatial resolution units becomes necessary. Defining spatial units that consider transmission heterogeneity, human movement and migration will help to set up achievable malaria elimination milestones and guide the creation of efficient operational administrative control units. Using a combination of genetic and epidemiological data we defined a malaria transmission unit as the area contributing 95% of malaria cases diagnosed at the catchment facility located in the town of Guapi in the South Pacific Coast of Colombia. We provide data showing that P. falciparum malaria transmission is heterogeneous in time and space and analysed, using topological data analysis, the spatial connectivity, at the micro epidemiological level, between parasite populations circulating within the unit. To illustrate the necessity to evaluate the efficacy of malaria control measures within the transmission unit in order to increase the efficiency of the malaria control effort, we provide information on the size of the asymptomatic reservoir, the nature of parasite genotypes associated with drug resistance as well as the frequency of the Pfhrp2/3 deletion associated with false negatives when using Rapid Diagnostic Tests.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3756
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2020


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antigens, Protozoan/genetics
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Colombia/epidemiology
  • Drug Resistance/genetics
  • Female
  • Gene Deletion
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Malaria, Falciparum/drug therapy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Plasmodium falciparum/genetics
  • Protozoan Proteins/genetics


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