The leishmaniases are vector-borne diseases that have a broad global distribution throughout much of the Americas, Africa, and Asia. Despite representing a significant public health burden, our understanding of the global distribution of the leishmaniases remains vague, reliant upon expert opinion and limited to poor spatial resolution. A global assessment of the consensus of evidence for leishmaniasis was performed at a subnational level by aggregating information from a variety of sources. A database of records of cutaneous and visceral leishmaniasis occurrence was compiled from published literature, online reports, strain archives, and GenBank accessions. These, with a suite of biologically relevant environmental covariates, were used in a boosted regression tree modeling framework to generate global environmental risk maps for the leishmaniases. These high-resolution evidence-based maps can help direct future surveillance activities, identify areas to target for disease control, and inform future burden estimation efforts.
Pigott DM, Bhatt S, Golding N, Duda KA, Battle KE, Brady OJ, Messina JP, Balard Y, Bastien P, Pratlong F, Brownstein JS, Freifeld CC, Mekaru SR, Gething PW, George DB, Myers MF, Reithinger R, Hay SI. Global distribution maps of the leishmaniases. eLife. 2014 Jun 27; 1:140042. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.02851.