Relating land cover and spatial distribution of nephropathia epidemica and Lyme borreliosis in Belgium

a Biosystems Department, M3-BIORES , Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Willem de Croylaan 34 , B3001 Heverlee , Belgium.
International Journal of Environmental Health Research (Impact Factor: 1.57). 08/2012; 23(2). DOI: 10.1080/09603123.2012.708918
Source: PubMed


Lyme borreliosis (LB) and nephropathia epidemica (NE) are zoonoses resulting from two different transmission mechanisms and the action of two different pathogens: the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and the Puumala virus, respectively. The landscape configuration is known to influence the spatial spread of both diseases by affecting vector demography and human exposure to infection. Yet, the connections between landscape and disease have rarely been quantified, thereby hampering the exploitation of land cover data sources to segment areas in function of risk. This study implemented a data-driven approach to relate land cover metrics and an indicator of NE/LB risk at different scales of observation of the landscape. Our results showed the suitability of the modeling approach (r(2) > 0.75, ρ < 0.001) and highlighted the relevance of the scale of observation in the set of landscape attributes found to influence disease risk as well as common and specific risk factors of NE and LB.

Download full-text


Available from: Willem W. Verstraeten, Oct 05, 2015
26 Reads
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The gravity models are commonly used spatial interaction models. They have been widely applied in a large set of domains dealing with interactions amongst spatial entities. The spread of vector-borne diseases is also related to the intensity of interaction between spatial entities, namely, the physical habitat of pathogens’ vectors and/or hosts, and urban areas, thus humans. This study implements the concept behind gravity models in the spatial spread of two vector-borne diseases, nephropathia epidemica and Lyme borreliosis, based on current knowledge on the transmission mechanism of these diseases. Two sources of information on vegetated systems were tested: the CORINE land cover map and MODIS NDVI. The size of vegetated areas near urban centers and a local indicator of occupation-related exposure were found significant predictors of disease risk. Both the land cover map and the space-borne dataset were suited yet not equivalent input sources to locate and measure vegetated areas of importance for disease spread. The overall results point at the compatibility of the gravity model concept and the spatial spread of vector-borne diseases.
    International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 12/2012; 9(12):4346-64. DOI:10.3390/ijerph9124346 · 2.06 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Hantaviruses cause hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) in Eurasia. In Europe both the amplitude and the magnitude of outbreaks of HFRS have increased. The mechanisms that drive the incidences are complex and multi-factorial and only partially due to increased awareness and improved diagnostic tools. Risk determinants include reservoir ecology, virus ecology and anthropogenic factors. The dogma of one specific rodent species as primordial reservoir for a specific hantavirus is increasingly challenged. New hantaviruses have been discovered in shrews, moles and bats and increasing evidence points at host-switching events and co-circulation in multiple, sympatric reservoir species, challenging the strict rodent-virus co-evolution theory. Changing landscape attributes and climatic parameters determine fluctuations in hantavirus epidemiology, for instance through increased food availability, prolonged virus survival and decreased biodiversity.
    02/2013; 3(1). DOI:10.1016/j.coviro.2013.01.002
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In the United States, giardiasis is endemic in northern and northeastern states, but its ecology and epidemiology remain elusive. The underlying physical landscape may play a role in shaping points of contact between humans, animals, and Giardia cysts. This study examined 11 years of surveillance data in New York State to measure the relationship between forest fragmentation and the incidence of giardiasis. Adjusted Poisson models showed that increasing points of contact between forested land and developed land, as measured by their shared edges [incident rate ratio (IRR) = 1.003; P < 0.001] and by the perimeter length of forested patches (IRR = 1.31; P = 0.01), were associated with higher incidence of giardiasis cases, whereas increasing forest density was associated with a lower incidence (IRR = 0.97; P < 0.001). These associations were independent of both temperature and surface water area. While these results are only suggestive due to the county-level aggregated data, the findings do identify a potentially important signal in the landscape epidemiology of giardiasis and highlight the need for better, more targeted, field studies on individual water sources for household consumption, inter-species contact in ecotones, surface water contamination, and human giardiasis cases.
    EcoHealth 10/2013; 10(4). DOI:10.1007/s10393-013-0881-z · 2.45 Impact Factor
Show more