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Ross River virus and the necessity of multi-scale, eco-epidemiological analyses

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Flies, EJ ORCID: 0000-0002-1013-0330, Weinstein, P, Anderson, SJ, Koolhof, I ORCID: 0000-0002-9923-7416, Foufopoulos, J and Williams, CR 2017 , 'Ross River virus and the necessity of multi-scale, eco-epidemiological analyses' , The Journal of Infectious Disease, vol. 217, no. 5 , pp. 807-815 , doi: 10.1093/infdis/jix615.

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Abstract

Summary: We find that the spatial scale/aggregation of an analysis influences the apparentimportance of ecological drivers of arboviral (Ross River virus) disease; we urge futureepidemiological studies to include multiple spatial scales for a more complete picture of diseasedrivers.Background: Zoonotic vector-borne disease prevalence is affected by vector, human andreservoir host factors, which are influenced by habitat and climate; these five componentsinteract on microhabitat to landscape scales but are often analyzed at a single spatial scale.Methods: We present an information theoretic, multi-scale, multiple regression analysis of theecological drivers of Ross River virus. We analyze the spatial pattern of 20 years of Ross Rivervirus infections from South Australia (1992-2012; n = 5,261) using variables across these fivecomponents of disease ecology at three spatial scales.Results: We found that covariate importance depended on the spatial scale of the analysis; somebiotic variables were more important at fine scales and some abiotic variables were moreimportant at coarser spatial scales. The urban score of an area was most predictive of infectionsand mosquito variables did not improve the explanatory power of these models.Conclusions: Through this multi-scale analysis, we identified novel drivers of the spatialdistribution of disease and recommend public health interventions. Our results underline thatsingle-scale analyses may paint an incomplete picture of disease drivers, potentially creating amajor flaw in epidemiological analyses. Multi-scale, ecological analyses are needed to betterunderstand infectious disease transmission.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Flies, EJ and Weinstein, P and Anderson, SJ and Koolhof, I and Foufopoulos, J and Williams, CR
Keywords: vector-borne disease, epidemiology, mosquito-borne disease, transmission, arbovirus, ecology, multiscale
Journal or Publication Title: The Journal of Infectious Disease
Publisher: Univ Chicago Press
ISSN: 0022-1899
DOI / ID Number: 10.1093/infdis/jix615
Copyright Information:

Copyright the authors 2017.This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in The Journal of Infectious Disease following peer review. The version of record, Flies, EJ and Weinstein, P and Anderson, SJ and Koolhof, I and Foufopoulos, J and Williams, CR, Ross River virus and the necessity of multi-scale, eco-epidemiological analyses, The Journal of Infectious Disease, 217, (5) pp. 807-815. ISSN 0022-1899 (2017), is available online at: http://doi.org/10.1093/infdis/jix615

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