Malaria transmission and spillover across the peru–ecuador border: A spatiotemporal analysis

Annika K. Gunderson, Rani E. Kumar, Cristina Recalde-Coronel, Luis E. Vasco, Andree Valle-Campos, Carlos F. Mena, Benjamin F. Zaitchik, Andres G. Lescano, William K. Pan, Mark M. Janko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Border regions have been implicated as important hot spots of malaria transmission, particularly in Latin America, where free movement rights mean that residents can cross borders using just a national ID. Additionally, rural livelihoods largely depend on short-term migrants traveling across borders via the Amazon’s river networks to work in extractive industries, such as logging. As a result, there is likely considerable spillover across country borders, particularly along the border between Peru and Ecuador. This border region exhibits a steep gradient of transmission intensity, with Peru having a much higher incidence of malaria than Ecuador. In this paper, we integrate 13 years of weekly malaria surveillance data collected at the district level in Peru and the canton level in Ecuador, and leverage hierarchical Bayesian spatiotemporal regression models to identify the degree to which malaria transmission in Ecuador is influenced by transmission in Peru. We find that increased case incidence in Peruvian districts that border the Ecuadorian Amazon is associated with increased incidence in Ecuador. Our results highlight the importance of coordinated malaria control across borders.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7434
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number20
StatePublished - 2 Oct 2020


  • Bayesian methods
  • Human mobility
  • Malaria
  • Spatiotemporal modeling
  • Spillover


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