Modeling Seasonal Malaria Transmission
A Methodology Connecting Regional Temperatures to Mosquito and Parasite Developmental Traits
Keywords:Malaria, Seasonal, Temperature-dependent, Non-autonomous, Cubic splines, Data
Increasing temperatures have raised concerns over the potential effect on disease spread. Temperature is a well known factor affecting mosquito population dynamics and the development rate of the malaria parasite within the mosquito, and consequently, malaria transmission. A sinusoidal wave is commonly used to incorporate temperature effects in malaria models, however, we introduce a seasonal malaria framework that links data on temperature-dependent mosquito and parasite demographic traits to average monthly regional temperature data, without forcing a sinusoidal fit to the data. We introduce a spline methodology that maps temperature-dependent mosquito traits to time-varying model parameters. The resulting non-autonomous system of differential equations is used to study the impact of seasonality on malaria transmission dynamics and burden in a high and low malaria transmission region in Malawi. We present numerical simulations illustrating how temperature shifts alter the entomological inoculation rate and the number of malaria infections in these regions.