Parasitology

Research Article

Identifying high-risk areas of schistosomiasis and associated risk factors in the Poyang Lake region, China

W. X. PENGa1a2, B. TAOa3, A. CLEMENTSa4a5, Q. L. JIANGa3, Z. J. ZHANGa1a2, Y. B. ZHOUa1a2 and Q. W. JIANGa1a2 c1

a1 Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Fudan University, 138 Yixueyuan Road, Shanghai 200032, People's Republic of China

a2 Key Laboratory on Public Health Safety of the Ministry of Education at the Fudan University, 138 Yixueyuan Road, Shanghai 200032, People's Republic of China

a3 Xingzi Anti-schistosomiasis Station, Jiangxi 332800, People's Republic of China

a4 School of Population Health, University of Queensland, Herston Road, Herston, QLD 4006, Australia

a5 Australian Centre for International and Tropical Health, Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Herston Road, Herston, QLD 4006, Australia

SUMMARY

The epidemiology of schistosomiasis japonicum over small areas remains poorly understood, and this is particularly true in China. We aimed to identify high-risk areas for schistosomiasis and associated risk factors in the Poyang Lake region, China. A cross-sectional study was conducted and 60 of 920 persons (6·5%) were found to be infected with Schistosoma japonicum. Locations of households and snail habitats were determined using a hand-held global positioning system. We mapped the data in a geographical information system and used spatial scan statistics to explore clustering of infection, logistic regression and Bayesian geostatistical models to identify risk factors for each individual's infection status and multinomial logistic regression to identify risk factors for living in a cluster area. The risk of schistosomiasis was spatially clustered and higher in fishermen and males, not in persons who lived in close proximity to snail habitats and infected water sources. This study has demonstrated significant spatial variation in the prevalence of schistosomiasis at a small spatial scale. The results suggest that demographic factors (gender, occupation) rather than the distance to infected water are driving human transmission at small-scale spatial levels. Such information can be used to plan locally targeted interventions based on anthelminthic drug administration, snail control and sanitation improvement.

(Received October 20 2009)

(Revised December 02 2009)

(Accepted December 03 2009)

(Online publication February 04 2010)

Correspondence:

c1 Corresponding author: Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Fudan University, 138 Yixueyuan Road, Shanghai 200032, People's Republic of China. Tel: +86 21 54237435. Fax: +86 21 64037364. E-mail: jiangqw@fudan.edu.cn

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