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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 sub-national 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 modelling 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.

Original publication

DOI

10.7554/eLife.02851

Type

Journal article

Journal

Elife

Publication Date

27/06/2014

Volume

3

Keywords

boosted regression trees, cutaneous leishmaniasis, epidemiology, global health, human, infectious disease, leishmania, microbiology, niche based modelling, species distribution modelling, visceral leishmaniasis, Animals, Disease Reservoirs, Environment, Geography, Global Health, Humans, Leishmaniasis, Cutaneous, Leishmaniasis, Visceral, Models, Theoretical, Psychodidae, Public Health, Regression Analysis