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Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Infectious Diseases
Volume 2009 (2009), Article ID 385487, 13 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2009/385487
Review Article

Climate Change and Malaria in Canada: A Systems Approach

1Department of Geography, McGill University, 805 Sherbrooke Street West, Montreal, QC, Canada H3A 2K6
2McGill University Centre for Tropical Diseases, Montreal General Hospital, Department of Medicine, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada H3G 1A4
3Division of Clinical Epidemiology, McGill University Health Centre, Royal Victoria Hospital, V Building, 687 Pine Avenue West, Montreal, QC, Canada H3A 1A1
4Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada H3A 1A2
5Public Health Agency of Canada and Faculté de médecine vétérinaire, Université de Montréal, CP 5000, Saint Hyacinthe, QC, Canada J2S 7C6

Received 9 January 2008; Accepted 27 March 2008

Academic Editor: Bettina Fries

Copyright © 2009 L. Berrang-Ford et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

This article examines the potential for changes in imported and autochthonous malaria incidence in Canada as a consequence of climate change. Drawing on a systems framework, we qualitatively characterize and assess the potential direct and indirect impact of climate change on malaria in Canada within the context of other concurrent ecological and social trends. Competent malaria vectors currently exist in southern Canada, including within this range several major urban centres, and conditions here have historically supported endemic malaria transmission. Climate change will increase the occurrence of temperature conditions suitable for malaria transmission in Canada, which, combined with trends in international travel, immigration, drug resistance, and inexperience in both clinical and laboratory diagnosis, may increase malaria incidence in Canada and permit sporadic autochthonous cases. This conclusion challenges the general assumption of negligible malaria risk in Canada with climate change.