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Spatial inequality, infectious diseases and disease control

Spatial inequality

(Picture by fxxu via pixabay.com, CC0 license)

Spatial inequality is the unequal distribution of resources and services across different areas or locations, such as healthcare, welfare, public services, household income and infrastructures. The distribution of such characteristics over space can be described in terms of proximity, distance, clustering and concentration. Spatial inequality can be visible in the urban/rural divide, between states or nations, or between more and less deprived areas within the same geographical unit.

Spatial inequalities are associated with health and social inequalities and affect population health. Understanding the extent and nature of differences between places, and their trends, can support the development of policies, strategies and interventions that have an impact on morbidity and mortality of different diseases.

As most of the world’s fastest growing cities are in Asia and Africa, the way infectious diseases coexist and interact with evolving rural and urban spaces, as well as with interfaces between human and wildlife, is increasingly complex.  

This collection focuses on emerging infectious diseases in humans and animals, including the impact of antimicrobial resistance, and brings together research that investigates the relationship between spatial inequalities of all kinds and the impact and prevalence of these infectious diseases. This collection will also welcome papers that seek solutions towards disease control across areas with particularly unequal distribution of resources and opportunities. 

The following journals are accepting submissions to the series:

AIDS Research and Therapy
Annals of Clinical Microbiology and Antimicrobials
Health Research Policy and Systems
Human Resources for Health
Globalization and Health
Gut Pathogens
Infectious Diseases of Poverty
International Journal for Equity in Health
International Journal of Health Geographics
Malaria Journal
One Health Outlook
Open Geospatial Data, Software and Standards
Parasites & Vectors

Manuscripts should be formatted according to the individual journals instructions for authors and submitted via the online submission system. Please indicate clearly in the title page that the manuscript is to be considered for the thematic series 'Spatial inequality, infectious diseases and disease control'. 

Manuscripts will be peer-reviewed independently by the respective journal. Accepted articles will be published online on a continuous basis.

Pre-submission enquiries are welcome. If you have questions before submitting your manuscript, please contact us.

Further references

The hidden burden of measles in Ethiopia: how distance to hospital shapes the disease mortality rate

Investigating spillover of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis from a prison: a spatial and molecular epidemiological analysis

Spatial epidemiology and infectious diseases - an article collection in BMC Medicine

Deprived Neighbourhoods and Spatial Inequalities in England

OECD - Spatial inequalities: across states or between rural and urban areas?

Spatial inequality and Development: An Overview of UNU-WIDER Project

Deadline for submissions: 31 December 2021.

Fees and funding

BMC and SpringerOpen Membership program

List of research funders and institutions worldwide that fund open access article-processing charges (APCs). 


  1. The development of antiretroviral therapy (ART) has been effective in suppressing HIV replication. However, severe drug toxicities due to the therapy and its failure in targeting the integrated proviral genome...

    Authors: Ruchira Bhowmik and Binay Chaubey
    Citation: AIDS Research and Therapy 2022 19:58
  2. Viral load (VL) monitoring of pregnant women living with HIV (PWLHIV) and antiretroviral therapy (ART) may contribute to lowering the risk of vertical transmission of HIV. The aims of this study were to assess...

    Authors: Christine Chiedza Chakanyuka Musanhu, Kudakwashe C. Takarinda, Jawaya Shea, Inam Chitsike and Brian Eley
    Citation: AIDS Research and Therapy 2022 19:52
  3. Medication adherence is important to the survival of People Living with HIV (PLHIV) globally. Although, HIV viral load is reduced by antiretroviral therapy (ART), the number of people on ART continues to rise ...

    Authors: Collins Adu, Kofi Akohene Mensah, Bright Opoku Ahinkorah, Dorothy Osei, Andrews William Tetteh and Abdul-Aziz Seidu
    Citation: AIDS Research and Therapy 2022 19:50
  4. Haemaphysalis flava is a hematophagous ectoparasite that acquires the nutrition needed for development and reproduction by sucking blood and digesting the blood meal. During blood-sucking and blood-meal digestion...

    Authors: Yu-Ke Liu, Guo-Hua Liu, Lei Liu, Ai-Bing Wang, Tian-Yin Cheng and De-Yong Duan
    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2022 15:411
  5. Ticks (order Ixodida) are ectoparasites, vectors and reservoirs of many infectious agents affecting humans and domestic animals. However, the lack of information on tick genomic diversity leaves significant ga...

    Authors: JunHua Tian, Xin Hou, MiHong Ge, HongBin Xu, Bin Yu, Jing Liu, RenFu Shao, Edward C. Holmes, ChaoLiang Lei and Mang Shi
    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2022 15:352
  6. Identification and characterization of larval habitats, documentation of Anopheles spp. composition and abundance, and Plasmodium spp. infection burden are critical components of integrated vector management. The...

    Authors: Wilfred Ouma Otambo, Patrick O. Onyango, Chloe Wang, Julius Olumeh, Benyl M. Ondeto, Ming-Chieh Lee, Harrysone Atieli, Andrew K. Githeko, James Kazura, Daibin Zhong, Guofa Zhou, John Githure, Collins Ouma and Guiyun Yan
    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2022 15:340
  7. Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) has the potential to be a useful tool for assessing key entomological parameters of malaria-transmitting mosquitoes, including age, infectious status and species identity. How...

    Authors: Bernard Mouonniba Somé, Dari F. Da, Ruth McCabe, Nicaise Denis C. Djègbè, Lawata Inès Géraldine Paré, Kadidia Wermé, Karine Mouline, Thierry Lefèvre, Anicet Georges Ouédraogo, Thomas S. Churcher and Roch Kounbobr Dabiré
    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2022 15:338
  8. The South African public antiretroviral therapy (ART) programme is considered one of the largest and most successful ART programmes worldwide. Hence, a study exploring the patients’ experiences of the public a...

    Authors: Delarise M. Mulqueeny and Myra Taylor
    Citation: AIDS Research and Therapy 2022 19:41
  9. Leprosy is a chronic infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae or Mycobacterium lepromatosis that is mainly transmitted through droplets from the nose and mouth of untreated patients. Owing to the lack of...

    Authors: Yanfang Zhang, Xuezhong Lei and Jiajie Lu
    Citation: Annals of Clinical Microbiology and Antimicrobials 2022 21:40
  10. The aim of the present study is to compare the performance of 16S rRNA Nanopore sequencing and conventional culture in detecting infectious pathogens in patients with suspected meningitis in a resource-limited...

    Authors: Srinivas Reddy Pallerla, Do Van Dong, Le Thi Kieu Linh, Trinh Van Son, Dao Thanh Quyen, Phan Quoc Hoan, Ngo Tat Trung, Nguyen Trong The, Jule Rüter, Sébastien Boutin, Dennis Nurjadi, Bui Tien Sy, Peter G. Kremsner, Christian G. Meyer, Le Huu Song and Thirumalaisamy P. Velavan
    Citation: Annals of Clinical Microbiology and Antimicrobials 2022 21:39
  11. Toxoplasma gondii has been reported to be associated with higher mortality in patients with schizophrenia. This study aimed to explore the relationship between T. gondii infection and 25-year mortality based on d...

    Authors: Jiaofeng Huang, Jiaolong Zheng, Bang Liu, Lingling Lu, Haicong Wu, Su Lin and Dongliang Li
    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2022 15:284
  12. Acute liver failure (ALF) patients are often accompanied by severe energy metabolism abnormalities and intestinal microecological imbalance. The intestinal mucosal barrier is severely damaged. Intestinal endot...

    Authors: Pan Cao, Qian Chen, Chunxia Shi, Luwen Wang and Zuojiong Gong
    Citation: Gut Pathogens 2022 14:29
  13. This study investigated prevalence trends and identified the associated factors of HIV, syphilis and hepatitis C virus (HCV) among pregnant women in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region (Guangxi), Southwest Ch...

    Authors: Shanmei Zhong, Yanyun Ou, Fei Zhang, Zhaosen Lin, Rongye Huang, Aidan Nong, Zhenxian Wu, Huayue Liang, Cai Qin, Qiuyu Wei, Yuan Yang, Dee Yu, Xianyan Tang, Li Ye, Deping Liu, Hao Liang…
    Citation: AIDS Research and Therapy 2022 19:31
  14. Understanding the experiences, needs, preferences, and behaviors of people living with HIV (PLHIV) are critical to tailor HIV treatment. However, there is limited empirical evidence in Ethiopia on the views of...

    Authors: Yihalem Abebe Belay, Mezgebu Yitayal, Asmamaw Atnafu and Fitalew Agimass Taye
    Citation: AIDS Research and Therapy 2022 19:30
  15. In the eco-epidemiological context of Japanese encephalitis (JE), geo-environmental features influence the spatial spread of the vector (Culex tritaeniorhynchus, Giles 1901) density, vector infection, and JE case...

    Authors: Mei-De Liu, Chun-Xiao Li, Jing-Xia Cheng and Tong-Yan Zhao
    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2022 15:171
  16. Multidrug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) is a recognized threat to global efforts to TB control and remains a priority of the National Tuberculosis Programs. Additionally, social determinants and socioeconomi...

    Authors: Olena Oliveira, Ana Isabel Ribeiro, Raquel Duarte, Margarida Correia-Neves and Teresa Rito
    Citation: Infectious Diseases of Poverty 2022 11:24
  17. Trichomonas vaginalis causes lesions on the cervicovaginal mucosa in women; however, its pathogenesis remains unclear. We have investigated the involvement of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) in the induction of ap...

    Authors: Fei Fei Gao, Juan-Hua Quan, Min A. Lee, Wei Ye, Jae-Min Yuk, Guang-Ho Cha, In-Wook Choi and Young-Ha Lee
    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2021 14:603
  18. Late presentation to HIV/AIDS care presents serious health concerns, like increased transmission and high healthcare costs, increased mortality, early development of opportunistic infection, increased risk of ...

    Authors: Chengqing Sun, Jianjun Li, Xiaoyan Liu, Zhi Zhang, Tao Qiu, Haiyang Hu, You Wang and Gengfeng Fu
    Citation: AIDS Research and Therapy 2021 18:96
  19. There is evidence that the knockdown resistance gene (Kdr) L1014F and acetylcholinesterase-1 gene (Ace-1R) G119S mutations involved in pyrethroid and carbamate resistance in Anopheles gambiae influence malaria tr...

    Authors: Rosine Z. Wolie, Alphonsine A. Koffi, Ludovic P. Ahoua Alou, Eleanore D. Sternberg, Oulo N’Nan-Alla, Amal Dahounto, Florent H. A. Yapo, Kpahe M. H. Kanh, Soromane Camara, Welbeck A. Oumbouke, Innocent Z. Tia, Simon-Pierre A. Nguetta, Matthew B. Thomas and Raphael NGuessan
    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2021 14:581
  20. Colombia’s National Army is one of the largest military institutions in the country based on the number of serving members and its presence throughout the country. There have been reports of cases of acute or ...

    Authors: Omar Cantillo-Barraza, Jeffer Torres, Carolina Hernández, Yanira Romero, Sara Zuluaga, Camilo A. Correa-Cárdenas, Giovanny Herrera, Omaira Rodríguez, María Teresa Alvarado, Juan David Ramírez and Claudia Méndez
    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2021 14:519
  21. Plasmodium vivax transmission-blocking vaccines (TBVs) are receiving increasing attention. Based on excellent transmission-blocking activities of the PbPH (PBANKA_0417200) and PbSOP26 (PBANKA_1457700) antigens in...

    Authors: Yongzhe Zhang, Fei Liu, Yan Zhao, Fan Yang, Jie Bai, Xitong Jia, Wanlapa Roobsoong, Jetsumon Sattabongkot, Liwang Cui, Yaming Cao, Enjie Luo and Meilian Wang
    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2021 14:407
  22. Commensal flora colonization during hospitalization by bacteria is the first step for nosocomial infections while antibiotic resistance reduces therapeutic options. In aim to control this phenomenon, we initia...

    Authors: William Lelorel Nguekap Nankam, Pierre René Fotsing Kwetche, Gildas Boris Tazemda-Kuitsouc, Golda Joyce Djeutsa Chouna and Jean Michel Tekam
    Citation: Annals of Clinical Microbiology and Antimicrobials 2021 20:48
  23. Integrase inhibitors (INIs)-based antiretroviral therapies (ART) are more recommended than efavirenz (EFV)-based ART for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). Yet, the advantage of integrase inhibitors in treat...

    Authors: Yuanlu Shu, Ziwei Deng, Hongqiang Wang, Yi Chen, Lijialong Yuan, Ye Deng, Xiaojun Tu, Xiang Zhao, Zhihua Shi, Minjiang Huang and Chengfeng Qiu
    Citation: AIDS Research and Therapy 2021 18:25
  24. Cystic echinococcosis (CE) has a worldwide distribution and is especially prevalent in North African countries. With a mean annual surgical incidence (ASI) of CE of 12.7 per 100,000 inhabitants, Tunisia is one...

    Authors: Selim M’rad, Raja Chaâbane-Banaoues, Massaouda Ghrab, Hamouda Babba and Myriam Oudni-M’rad
    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2021 14:216
  25. As malaria endemic countries strive towards elimination, intensified spatial heterogeneities of local transmission could undermine the effectiveness of traditional intervention policy.

    Authors: Raquel Lana, Narimane Nekkab, Andre M. Siqueira, Cassio Peterka, Paola Marchesini, Marcus Lacerda, Ivo Mueller, Michael White and Daniel Villela
    Citation: Malaria Journal 2021 20:87
  26. The rapid growth of Qatar in the last two decades has been associated with an enormous expansion of building programs in its cities and in the provision of new service industries. This in turn has attracted a ...

    Authors: Nadin Younes, Jerzy M. Behnke, Ahmed Ismail and Marawan A. Abu-Madi
    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2021 14:63
  27. According to China’s Malaria Eradication Action Plan, malaria cases diagnosed and reported by health authorities at the county level must be further re-confirmed by provincial laboratories. The Yunnan Province...

    Authors: Ying Dong, Yan Deng, Yanchun Xu, Mengni Chen, Chun Wei, Canglin Zhang, Xianghua Mao and Jingbo Xue
    Citation: Malaria Journal 2020 19:409
  28. Malaria primarily affects populations living in poor socioeconomic conditions, with limited access to basic services, deteriorating environmental conditions, and barriers to accessing health services. Control ...

    Authors: Carol Yovanna Rosero, Gloria Isabel Jaramillo, Franco Andrés Montenegro, César García and Arelis Alexandra Coral
    Citation: Malaria Journal 2020 19:343
  29. Although preventable and curable, tuberculosis (TB) still occurs in poor or developing countries, mainly in metropolitan regions of larger cities. The disease is a serious public health problem, and is directl...

    Authors: Alexandre Tadashi Inomata Bruce, Thais Zamboni Berra, Felipe Lima dos Santos, Yan Mathias Alves, Ludmilla Leidianne Limirio Souza, Antônio Carlos Vieira Ramos, Luiz Henrique Arroyo, Juliane de Almeida Crispim, Ione Carvalho Pinto, Pedro Fredemir Palha, Aline Aparecida Monroe, Mellina Yamamura, Regina Célia Fiorati, Ana Carolina Scarpel Moncaio, Dulce Maria de Oliveira Gomes and Ricardo Alexandre Arcêncio
    Citation: Infectious Diseases of Poverty 2020 9:111
  30. Routine tuberculosis (TB) notifications are geographically heterogeneous, but their utility in predicting the location of undiagnosed TB cases is unclear. We aimed to identify small-scale geographic areas with...

    Authors: Katherine O. Robsky, Peter J. Kitonsa, James Mukiibi, Olga Nakasolya, David Isooba, Annet Nalutaaya, Phillip P. Salvatore, Emily A. Kendall, Achilles Katamba and David Dowdy
    Citation: Infectious Diseases of Poverty 2020 9:73
  31. Several studies highlighted the impact of community-based interventions whose purpose was to reduce the vectors’ breeding sites. These strategies are particularly interesting in low-and-middle-income countries...

    Authors: Emmanuel Bonnet, Florence Fournet, Tarik Benmarhnia, Samiratou Ouedraogo, Roch Dabiré and Valéry Ridde
    Citation: Infectious Diseases of Poverty 2020 9:61
  32. To further reduce malaria, larval source management (LSM) is proposed as a complementary strategy to the existing strategies. LSM has potential to control insecticide resistant, outdoor biting and outdoor rest...

    Authors: Steven Gowelo, Robert S. McCann, Constantianus J. M. Koenraadt, Willem Takken, Henk van den Berg and Lucinda Manda-Taylor
    Citation: Malaria Journal 2020 19:195
  33. Larval indices such as the house index (HI), Breteau index (BI) and container index (CI) are widely used to interpret arbovirus vector density in surveillance programmes. However, the use of such data as an al...

    Authors: Ana Carolina Policarpo Cavalcante, Ricardo Alves de Olinda, Alexandrino Gomes, John Traxler, Matt Smith and Silvana Santos
    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2020 13:197
  34. Internal migration places individuals at high risk of contracting tuberculosis (TB). However, there is a scarcity of national-level spatial analyses regarding the association between TB and internal migration ...

    Authors: Wei-Bin Liao, Ke Ju, Ya-Min Gao and Jay Pan
    Citation: Infectious Diseases of Poverty 2020 9:5
  35. Repeated outbreaks of emerging pathogens underscore the need for preparedness plans to prevent, detect, and respond. As countries develop and improve National Action Plans for Health Security, addressing subna...

    Authors: E. N. Hulland, K. E. Wiens, S. Shirude, J. D. Morgan, A. Bertozzi-Villa, T. H. Farag, N. Fullman, M. U. G. Kraemer, M. K. Miller-Petrie, V. Gupta, R. C. Reiner Jr., P. Rabinowitz, J. N. Wasserheit, B. P. Bell, S. I. Hay, D. J. Weiss…
    Citation: BMC Medicine 2019 17:232
  36. Trachoma is the leading infectious cause of blindness globally. The WHO has recommended the SAFE (Surgery, Antibiotics, Facial cleanliness and Environmental improvements) strategy to eliminate trachoma as a pu...

    Authors: Forest M. Altherr, Andrew W. Nute, Mulat Zerihun, Eshetu Sata, Aisha E. P. Stewart, Demelash Gessese, Berhanu Melak, Tigist Astale, Gedefaw Ayenew, E. Kelly Callahan, Melsew Chanyalew, Bizuayehu Gashaw, Lance A. Waller, Zerihun Tadesse and Scott D. Nash
    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2019 12:540
  37. Infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is an alarming problem in North African countries, but few studies have analyzed the geographical distribution of the epidemic. Libya, the second largest c...

    Authors: Mohamed A. Daw, Amina M. Daw, Nadia E. M. Sifennasr, Aisha M. Draha, Ahmed A. Daw, Ali A. Daw, Mohamed O. Ahmed, Ebtisam S. Mokhtar, Abdallah Hu. El-Bouzedi, Ibrahem M. Daw, Samia I. Adam and Saed Warrag
    Citation: AIDS Research and Therapy 2019 16:14
  38. The social determinants of health (SDHs) condition disease distribution and the ways they are handled. Socio-economic inequalities are closely linked to the occurrence of neglected tropical diseases, but empir...

    Authors: María del Pilar Fernández, María Sol Gaspe and Ricardo E. Gürtler
    Citation: Parasites & Vectors 2019 12:184