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Where have all the mosquito nets gone? Spatial modelling reveals mosquito net distributions across Tanzania do not target optimal Anopheles mosquito habitats

Overview of attention for article published in Malaria Journal, August 2015
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  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (90th percentile)

Mentioned by

1 news outlet
12 tweeters


11 Dimensions

Readers on

97 Mendeley
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Where have all the mosquito nets gone? Spatial modelling reveals mosquito net distributions across Tanzania do not target optimal Anopheles mosquito habitats
Published in
Malaria Journal, August 2015
DOI 10.1186/s12936-015-0841-x
Pubmed ID

Emily S. Acheson, Andrew A. Plowright, Jeremy T. Kerr


Malaria remains the deadliest vector-borne disease despite long-term, costly control efforts. The United Republic of Tanzania has implemented countrywide anti-malarial interventions over more than a decade, including national insecticide-treated net (ITN) rollouts and subsequent monitoring. While previous analyses have compared spatial variation in malaria endemicity with ITN distributions, no study has yet compared Anopheles habitat suitability to determine proper allocation of ITNs. This study assesses where mosquitoes were most likely to thrive before implementation of large-scale ITN interventions in Tanzania and determine if ITN distributions successfully targeted those areas. Using Maxent, a species distribution model was constructed relating anopheline mosquito occurrences for 1999-2003 to high resolution environmental observations. A 2011-2012 layer of mosquito net ownership was created using georeferenced data across Tanzania from the Demographic and Health Surveys. The baseline mosquito habitat suitability was compared to subsequent ITN ownership using (1) the average ITN numbers per house and (2) the proportion of households with ≥1 net to test whether national ITN ownership targets have been met and have tracked malaria risk. Elevation, land cover, and human population distribution outperformed variants of temperature and Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) in anopheline distribution models. The spatial distribution of ITN ownership across Tanzania was near-random spatially (Moran's I = 0.07). Householders reported owning 2.488 ITNs on average and 93.41 % of households had ≥1 ITN. Mosquito habitat suitability was statistically unrelated to reported ITN ownership and very weakly to the proportion of households with ≥1 ITN (R(2) = 0.051). Proportional ITN ownership/household varied relative to mosquito habitat suitability (Levene's test F = 3.0037). Quantile regression was used to assess trends in ITN ownership among households with the highest and lowest 10 % of ITN ownership. ITN ownership declined significantly toward areas with the highest vector habitat suitability among households with lowest ITN ownership (t = -3.38). In areas with lowest habitat suitability, ITN ownership was consistently higher. Insecticide-treated net ownership is critical for malaria control. While Tanzania-wide efforts to distribute ITNs has reduced malaria impacts, gaps and variance in ITN ownership are unexpectedly large in areas where malaria risk is highest. Supplemental ITN distributions targeting prime Anopheles habitats are likely to have disproportionate human health benefits.

Twitter Demographics

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Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 97 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United States 3 3%
United Kingdom 1 1%
Zambia 1 1%
Madagascar 1 1%
Unknown 91 94%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 20 21%
Student > Ph. D. Student 18 19%
Researcher 14 14%
Student > Bachelor 7 7%
Student > Doctoral Student 5 5%
Other 22 23%
Unknown 11 11%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 26 27%
Medicine and Dentistry 17 18%
Environmental Science 11 11%
Nursing and Health Professions 6 6%
Computer Science 3 3%
Other 20 21%
Unknown 14 14%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 16. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 12 November 2015.
All research outputs
of 14,125,855 outputs
Outputs from Malaria Journal
of 4,075 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 239,416 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Malaria Journal
of 1 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 14,125,855 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 92nd percentile: it's in the top 10% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 4,075 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a little more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 5.6. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 94% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 239,416 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 90% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 1 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has scored higher than all of them