Schistosoma japonicum risk in Jiangsu province, People's Republic of China: identification of a spatio-temporal risk pattern along the Yangtze River
The risk for Schistosoma japonicum infection in Jiangsu province, People's Republic of China, was investigated by a mouse bioassay. Various investigations were conducted in the period 2009-2011 with the presentation here representing the summary of the results from 45-50 sites in the marshlands along the Yangtze River's course through the province. Indices representing three aspects of the infection were collected to assess risk: (i) the proportion of sentinel points where at least one mouse
... least one mouse infection was recorded; (ii) the proportion of infected mice at each of these sites; and (iii) the average worm burdens. Directional distribution analysis and scan statistics were used to explore the spatio-temporal risk pattern. The spatial distribution was oriented along the Yangtze River and the directional distributions for the proportion of infected mice and mean worm burdens were similar for the positive sentinel sites. Four statistically significant clusters were detected in 2009, but only one in 2010 and 2011, respectively. Temporal windows for infection risk were seen in June and September. The study illustrates the utility of spatio-temporal analysis in assessing the risk for schistosomiasis. This approach should be useful with respect to surveillance and response that can be expected to be increasingly applied when moving from morbidity control to transmission control.