Summer Research Fellowship Programme of India's Science Academies

Spatio-temporal Analysis on factors influencing the outbreak of Kala-Azar (Visceral Leishmaniasis) in India


SDNB Vaishnav College for Women, Chennai.


Principal Scientist, Chemical Engineering and Process Development (CEPD), CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory, Pune


Kala–Azar or Visceral Leishmaniasis is a vector–borne disease caused by the protozoa parasite of leishmania type and transmitted by phlebotomine female sandflies. This study investigates the space-time patterns and hotspot detection of reported Kala-Azar cases in Indian states. To understand the VL seasonality, annual variations of VL cases from 2000 to 2014 and its relationship to meteorological variables such as rainfall and temperature, wetland areas and material of rooftop for households were studied. Around 3,62,048 VL cases were reported in India from 2000-2014 with major contributions from the states of Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal. It was observed that moderate amount of rainfall and humid temperature appear to be the most important predictive variable for the actual prevalence of Kala–Azar incidence. The higher occurrences of the disease are also due to a large number of houses with rooftops made of grass, mud, thatches, etc. and large marshy areas which provide excellent shelter for the sand fly.

Keywords: Spatio-temporal, Kala-Azar, Spatial Autocorrelation

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