If global warming progresses, many consider that malaria in presently malaria-endemic areas will become more serious, with increasing development rates of the vector mosquito and malaria parasites. However, the correlation coefficients between the monthly malaria cases and the monthly mean of daily maximum temperature were negative, showing that the number of malaria cases in tropical areas of Africa decreases during the season when temperature was higher than normal. Moreover, an analysis of temperature and development rate using a thermodynamic model showed that the estimated intrinsic optimum temperatures for the development of the malaria parasites, Plasmodium falciparum and P. vivax, in the adult mosquito stage and that of the vector mosquito Anopheles gambiae s.s. were all ≈23–24°C. Here, the intrinsic optimum temperature is defined in the thermodynamic model as the temperature at which it is assumed that there are no or negligible adverse effects for development. Therefore, this study indicates that the development of malaria parasites in their mosquito hosts and the development of their vector mosquitoes are inhibited at temperatures higher than 23–24°C. If global warming progresses further, the present center of malarial endemicity in sub-Saharan Africa will move to an area with an optimum temperature for both the vector and the parasite, migrating to avoid the hot environment.
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Vol. 45 • No. 6