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Targeting malaria hotspots key to reducing transmission


In this week's PLoS Medicine, Teun Bousema of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK and colleagues argue that targeting malaria "hotspots," small groups of households at a substantially increased risk of malaria transmission, is a highly efficient way to reduce malaria transmission at all levels of transmission intensity.

The authors state: "Malaria hotspots appear to maintain malaria transmission in low transmission seasons and are the driving force for transmission in the high transmission season. Targeting the hotspots would mean the most infected and most diseased households would be prioritized with the added benefits of reducing transmission to the whole community."


Funding: This work was supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation 51991 to Teun Bousema. Roly Gosling is supported through grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and ExxonMobil to the Global Health Group at the University of California, San Francisco. Chris Drakeley is supported by the Wellcome Trust (UK), Jamie Griffin by a fellowship from the UK Medical Research Council, Azra Ghani by the Bill & Melinda Gates Vaccine Modeling Initiative and the UK Medical Research Council, Tom Churcher by the European Commission FP7 Collaborative project TransMalariaBloc (HEALTH-F3-2008-223736), and David L. Smith by the RAPIDD program of the Science & Technology Directorate, Department of Homeland Security, and the Fogarty International Center, National Institutes of Health ( The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Competing Interests: AG was paid by GSK to attend a single advisory board meeting in December 2009 on how to develop models for the economic evaluation of RTSS. Currently she has a collaborative agreement with GSK to re-analyse RTSS Phase II trial data, which is managed via Imperial College but does not involve monetary exchange and under which the company does not have final decision on publication. None of these activities relates to this article on hotspots. All other authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

Citation: Bousema T, Griffin JT, Sauerwein RW, Smith DL, Churcher TS, et al. (2012) Hitting Hotspots: Spatial Targeting of Malaria for Control and Elimination. PLoS Med 9(1): e1001165. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001165

Teun Bousema
Department of Infectious & Tropical Diseases
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
Keppel Street
London, WC1E 7HT
United Kingdom
+44 20 7636 2294

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