Spatiotemporal patterns of malaria incidence in northern Thailand

D. Z. Childs, I. M. Cattadori, W. Suwonkerd, S. Prajakwong, M. Boots

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


We present a detailed analysis of long-term time series of malaria incidence in northern Thailand. Positive cases for Plasmodium falciparum and P. vivax have been recorded monthly from 1977-2002 at 13 provinces in the region. Time series statistical methods are used to examine the long-term trends and seasonal dynamics of malaria incidence at regional and provincial scales. Both malarial types are declining throughout the region, except in the two provinces that share a large border with Myanmar. The rate of decline in P. vivax has decreased across the region since the end of the 1980s, and this may be a signal of developing resistance or changing vector potential. Both species display a two-peak annual seasonality that may be attributed to patterns of vector occurrence, farming practice and migration of individuals across international borders. In a number of provinces, the importance of the first seasonal peak has grown in recent years, possibly owing to increases in vector densities. The medium-term fluctuations of both species exhibit a clear spatial organisation. There is some evidence of a subtle close to 4-year super annual cycle in P. falciparum, which we suggest is driven by extrinsic factors relating to the climate of the region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)623-631
Number of pages9
JournalTransactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Parasitology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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