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Bayesian spatial modelling and the significance of agricultural land use to scrub typhus infection in Taiwan

Bayesian spatial modelling and the significance of agricultural land use to scrub typhus infection in Taiwan
Bayesian spatial modelling and the significance of agricultural land use to scrub typhus infection in Taiwan
Scrub typhus is transmitted by the larval stage of trombiculid mites. Environmental factors, including land cover and land use, are known to influence breeding and survival of trombiculid mites and, thus, also the spatial heterogeneity of scrub typhus risk. Here, a spatially autoregressive modelling framework was applied to scrub typhus incidence data from Taiwan, covering the period 2003 to 2011, to provide increased understanding of the spatial pattern of scrub typhus risk and the environmental and socioeconomic factors contributing to this pattern. A clear spatial pattern in scrub typhus incidence was observed within Taiwan, and incidence was found to be significantly correlated with several land cover classes, temperature, elevation, normalized difference vegetation index, rainfall, population density, average income and the proportion of the population that work in agriculture. The final multivariate regression model included statistically significant correlations between scrub typhus incidence and average income (negatively correlated), the proportion of land that contained mosaics of cropland and vegetation (positively correlated) and elevation (positively correlated). These results highlight the importance of land cover on scrub typhus incidence: mosaics of cropland and vegetation represent a transitional land cover type which can provide favourable habitats for rodents and, therefore, trombiculid mites. In Taiwan, these transitional land cover areas tend to occur in less populated and mountainous areas, following the frontier establishment and subsequent partial abandonment of agricultural cultivation, due to demographic and socioeconomic changes. Future land use policy decision-making should ensure that potential public health outcomes, such as modified risk of scrub typhus, are considered
1827-1987
229-239
Wardrop, Nicola A.
8f3a8171-0727-4375-bc68-10e7d616e176
Kuo, Chi-Chien
b77bb180-d3b1-4c6c-98b5-193b62843bf1
Wang, H.
d23f04f1-a300-4744-bd98-2df77c7047df
Clements, Archie
f11de8e2-9a7a-4196-90f7-591d6d902dc4
Lee, P.
ba46704b-e247-43d8-b04e-be2ca51cb87c
Atkinson, P.M.
96e96579-56fe-424d-a21c-17b6eed13b0b
Wardrop, Nicola A.
8f3a8171-0727-4375-bc68-10e7d616e176
Kuo, Chi-Chien
b77bb180-d3b1-4c6c-98b5-193b62843bf1
Wang, H.
d23f04f1-a300-4744-bd98-2df77c7047df
Clements, Archie
f11de8e2-9a7a-4196-90f7-591d6d902dc4
Lee, P.
ba46704b-e247-43d8-b04e-be2ca51cb87c
Atkinson, P.M.
96e96579-56fe-424d-a21c-17b6eed13b0b

Wardrop, Nicola A., Kuo, Chi-Chien, Wang, H., Clements, Archie, Lee, P. and Atkinson, P.M. (2013) Bayesian spatial modelling and the significance of agricultural land use to scrub typhus infection in Taiwan. Geospatial Health, 8 (1), 229-239. (PMID:24258898)

Record type: Article

Abstract

Scrub typhus is transmitted by the larval stage of trombiculid mites. Environmental factors, including land cover and land use, are known to influence breeding and survival of trombiculid mites and, thus, also the spatial heterogeneity of scrub typhus risk. Here, a spatially autoregressive modelling framework was applied to scrub typhus incidence data from Taiwan, covering the period 2003 to 2011, to provide increased understanding of the spatial pattern of scrub typhus risk and the environmental and socioeconomic factors contributing to this pattern. A clear spatial pattern in scrub typhus incidence was observed within Taiwan, and incidence was found to be significantly correlated with several land cover classes, temperature, elevation, normalized difference vegetation index, rainfall, population density, average income and the proportion of the population that work in agriculture. The final multivariate regression model included statistically significant correlations between scrub typhus incidence and average income (negatively correlated), the proportion of land that contained mosaics of cropland and vegetation (positively correlated) and elevation (positively correlated). These results highlight the importance of land cover on scrub typhus incidence: mosaics of cropland and vegetation represent a transitional land cover type which can provide favourable habitats for rodents and, therefore, trombiculid mites. In Taiwan, these transitional land cover areas tend to occur in less populated and mountainous areas, following the frontier establishment and subsequent partial abandonment of agricultural cultivation, due to demographic and socioeconomic changes. Future land use policy decision-making should ensure that potential public health outcomes, such as modified risk of scrub typhus, are considered

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Published date: November 2013
Organisations: PHEW – P (Population Health), Population, Health & Wellbeing (PHeW)

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 359701
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/359701
ISSN: 1827-1987
PURE UUID: 79103d29-8b6a-46ba-aba6-47c08e5dfce4
ORCID for P.M. Atkinson: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-5489-6880

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Date deposited: 11 Nov 2013 09:06
Last modified: 22 Oct 2019 00:54

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