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      Risk factor analysis and spatiotemporal CART model of cryptosporidiosis in Queensland, Australia

      , 1 , 2 , 1 , 3

      BMC Infectious Diseases

      BioMed Central

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          It remains unclear whether it is possible to develop a spatiotemporal epidemic prediction model for cryptosporidiosis disease. This paper examined the impact of social economic and weather factors on cryptosporidiosis and explored the possibility of developing such a model using social economic and weather data in Queensland, Australia.


          Data on weather variables, notified cryptosporidiosis cases and social economic factors in Queensland were supplied by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, Queensland Department of Health, and Australian Bureau of Statistics, respectively. Three-stage spatiotemporal classification and regression tree (CART) models were developed to examine the association between social economic and weather factors and monthly incidence of cryptosporidiosis in Queensland, Australia. The spatiotemporal CART model was used for predicting the outbreak of cryptosporidiosis in Queensland, Australia.


          The results of the classification tree model (with incidence rates defined as binary presence/absence) showed that there was an 87% chance of an occurrence of cryptosporidiosis in a local government area (LGA) if the socio-economic index for the area (SEIFA) exceeded 1021, while the results of regression tree model (based on non-zero incidence rates) show when SEIFA was between 892 and 945, and temperature exceeded 32°C, the relative risk (RR) of cryptosporidiosis was 3.9 (mean morbidity: 390.6/100,000, standard deviation (SD): 310.5), compared to monthly average incidence of cryptosporidiosis. When SEIFA was less than 892 the RR of cryptosporidiosis was 4.3 (mean morbidity: 426.8/100,000, SD: 319.2). A prediction map for the cryptosporidiosis outbreak was made according to the outputs of spatiotemporal CART models.


          The results of this study suggest that spatiotemporal CART models based on social economic and weather variables can be used for predicting the outbreak of cryptosporidiosis in Queensland, Australia.

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          Seasonality in six enterically transmitted diseases and ambient temperature.

          We propose an analytical and conceptual framework for a systematic and comprehensive assessment of disease seasonality to detect changes and to quantify and compare temporal patterns. To demonstrate the proposed technique, we examined seasonal patterns of six enterically transmitted reportable diseases (EDs) in Massachusetts collected over a 10-year period (1992-2001). We quantified the timing and intensity of seasonal peaks of ED incidence and examined the synchronization in timing of these peaks with respect to ambient temperature. All EDs, except hepatitis A, exhibited well-defined seasonal patterns which clustered into two groups. The peak in daily incidence of Campylobacter and Salmonella closely followed the peak in ambient temperature with the lag of 2-14 days. Cryptosporidium, Shigella, and Giardia exhibited significant delays relative to the peak in temperature (approximately 40 days, P<0.02). The proposed approach provides a detailed quantification of seasonality that enabled us to detect significant differences in the seasonal peaks of enteric infections which would have been lost in an analysis using monthly or weekly cumulative information. This highly relevant to disease surveillance approach can be used to generate and test hypotheses related to disease seasonality and potential routes of transmission with respect to environmental factors.
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            Zero-inflated models for regression analysis of count data: a study of growth and development.

             Albert Cheung (2002)
            Poisson regression is widely used in medical studies, and can be extended to negative binomial regression to allow for heterogeneity. When there is an excess number of zero counts, a useful approach is to used a mixture model with a proportion P of subjects not at risk, and a proportion of 1--P at-risk subjects who take on outcome values following a Poisson or negative binomial distribution. Covariate effects can be incorporated into both components of the models. In child assessment, fine motor development is often measured by test items that involve a process of imitation and a process of fine motor exercise. One such developmental milestone is 'building a tower of cubes'. This study analyses the impact of foetal growth and postnatal somatic growth on this milestone, operationalized as the number of cubes and measured around the age of 22 months. It is shown that the two aspects of early growth may have different implications for imitation and fine motor dexterity. The usual approach of recording and analysing the milestone as a binary outcome, such as whether the child can build a tower of three cubes, may leave out important information.
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              Comparison of statistical methods commonly used in predictive modelling


                Author and article information

                BMC Infect Dis
                BMC Infectious Diseases
                BioMed Central
                28 October 2010
                : 10
                : 311
                [1 ]School of Mathematical Sciences, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia
                [2 ]School of Population Health, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
                [3 ]School of Public Health, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia
                Copyright ©2010 Hu et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Research Article

                Infectious disease & Microbiology


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