Epidemiology and Infection

Spatial and temporal epidemiology of sporadic human cases of Escherichia coli O157 in Scotland, 1996–1999

G. T. INNOCENT a1, D. J. MELLOR a1, S. A. McEWEN a2, W. J. REILLY a3, J. SMALLWOOD a1, M. E. LOCKING a3, D. J. SHAW a4, P. MICHEL a2, D. J. TAYLOR a5, W. B. STEELE a5, G. J. GUNN a6, H. E. TERNENT a1, M. E. J. WOOLHOUSE a4, S. W. J. REID a1c1 and on behalf of the Wellcome Trust-funded IPRAVE Consortium
a1 Comparative Epidemiology and Informatics, Institute of Comparative Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, and Department of Statistics and Modelling Science, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland, UK
a2 Department of Population Medicine, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada
a3 Scottish Centre for Infection and Environmental Health, Clifton House, Clifton Place, Glasgow, Scotland, UK
a4 Centre for Tropical Veterinary Medicine (CTVM), Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, The University of Edinburgh, Easter Bush, Roslin, Midlothian, Scotland, UK
a5 Department of Veterinary Pathology, University of Glasgow Veterinary School, Glasgow, Scotland, UK
a6 SAC Veterinary Science Division, Drummondhill, Inverness, Scotland, UK

Article author query
innocent gt   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
mellor dj   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
mcewen sa   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
reilly wj   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
smallwood j   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
locking me   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
shaw dj   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
michel p   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
taylor dj   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
steele wb   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
gunn gj   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
ternent he   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
woolhouse me   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
reid sw   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 


In Scotland, between 1995 and 2000 there were between 4 and 10 cases of illness per 100000 population per year identified as being caused by Escherichia coli O157, whereas in England and Wales there were between 1 and 2 cases per 100000 population per year. Within Scotland there is significant regional variation. A cluster of high rate areas was identified in the Northeast of Scotland and a cluster of low rate areas in central-west Scotland. Temporal trends follow a seasonal pattern whilst spatial effects appeared to be distant rather than local. The best-fit model identified a significant spatial trend with case rate increasing from West to East, and from South to North. No statistically significant spatial interaction term was found. In the models fitted, the cattle population density, the human population density, and the number of cattle per person were variously significant. The findings suggest that rural/urban exposures are important in sporadic infections.

(Published Online May 26 2005)
(Accepted December 10 2004)

c1 Comparative Epidemiology and Informatics, Institute of Comparative Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Glasgow Veterinary School, Bearsden Road, Glasgow G61 1QH, UK. (Email: stuart.reid@vet.gla.ac.uk)