Advisor: Leonard Munstermann
Malaria transmission has not been seen on the island of Sardinia, Italy since the mosquito control project almost 50 years ago. While the disease was eradicated the vector, Anopheles labranchiae, was not and subsequent studies have found the vector recolonizing habitats where it had previously been eliminated.
While there has been only been one endemic case of malaria in Italy since the control program began, malaria is continually introduced by trade, immigrants and tourists. Expanding vector populations and land use/land cover change are bringing increased human and A. labranchiae populations into contact, increasing the potential for a malaria epidemic. We will use satellite data to characterize A. labranchiae habitat in 1982 and 2003 to look at land use/land cover change, identify high risk areas and identify potential points of entry and colonization by plasmodium parasites.