Does livestock protect from malaria or facilitate malaria prevalence? a cross-sectional study in endemic rural areas of Indonesia

  • Background: Ever since it was discovered that zoophilic vectors can transmit malaria, zooprophylaxis has been used to prevent the disease. However, zoopotentiation has also been observed. Thus, the presence of livestock has been widely accepted as an important variable for the prevalence and risk of malaria, but the effectiveness of zooprophylaxis remained subject to debate. This study aims to critically analyse the effects of the presence of livestock on malaria prevalence using a large dataset from Indonesia. Methods: This study is based on data from the Indonesia Basic Health Research ("Riskesdas") cross-sectional survey of 2007 organized by the National Institute of Health Research and Development of Indonesia’s Ministry of Health. The subset of data used in the present study included 259,885 research participants who reside in the rural areas of 176 regencies throughout the 15 provinces of Indonesia where the prevalence of malaria is higher than the national average. The variable "existence of livestock" and other independent demographic, social and behavioural variables were tested as potential determinants for malaria prevalence by multivariate logistic regressions. Results: Raising medium-sized animals in the house was a significant predictor of malaria prevalence (OR = 2.980; 95% CI 2.348–3.782, P < 0.001) when compared to keeping such animals outside of the house (OR = 1.713; 95% CI 1.515–1.937, P < 0.001). After adjusting for gender, age, access to community health facility, sewage canal condition, use of mosquito nets and insecticide-treated bed nets, the participants who raised medium-sized animals inside their homes were 2.8 times more likely to contract malaria than respondents who did not (adjusted odds ratio = 2.809; 95% CI 2.207–3.575; P < 0.001). Conclusions: The results of this study highlight the importance of livestock for malaria transmission, suggesting that keeping livestock in the house contributes to malaria risk rather than prophylaxis in Indonesia. Livestock-based interventions should therefore play a significant role in the implementation of malaria control programmes, and focus on households with a high proportion of medium-sized animals in rural areas. The implementation of a "One Health" strategy to eliminate malaria in Indonesia by 2030 is strongly recommended.
Author:Hamzah Hasyim, Meghnath Dhimal, Jan BauerORCiDGND, Doreen Montag, Jan David Alexander GronebergORCiDGND, Ulrich KuchORCiDGND, Ruth MüllerORCiD
Pubmed Id:
Parent Title (English):Malaria journal
Publisher:BioMed Central
Place of publication:London
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2018
Date of first Publication:2018/08/20
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2018/08/23
Tag:Livestock; Malaria; Rural area; Zoopotentation; Zooprophylaxis
Issue:1, Art. 302
Page Number:11
First Page:1
Last Page:11
Open Access: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Institutes:Medizin / Medizin
Dewey Decimal Classification:6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0