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The magnetic particle imaging method allows for the quantitative determination of spatial distributions of superparamagnetic nanoparticles in vivo. Recently, it was shown that the 1-D magnetic particle imaging process can be formulated as a convolution. Analyzing the width of the convolution kernel allows for predicting the spatial resolution of the method. However, this measure does not take into account the noise of the measured data. Furthermore, it does not consider a reconstruction step, which can increase the resolution beyond the width of the convolution kernel. In this paper, the spatial resolution of magnetic particle imaging is investigated by analyzing the modulation transfer function of the imaging process. An expression for the spatial resolution is derived, which includes the noise level and which is validated in simulations and experiments.