Background: Despite being identified as a major health concern and neglected
tropical disease, Ascariasis, caused by Ascaris lumbricoides, a soil-transmitted
helminth, ranks among the most common infections worldwide.Methods: Based on prevalence data from the community surveys across East Africa
for 1975-2009, we used ecological niche modeling to summarize and predict the
spatial distribution of A. lumbricoides’ transmission risk.Results: Projection of this model across East Africa identified 51.4% of the region as
suitable for A. lumbricoides transmission, with least suitable areas in the Sahara and
the Somali-Chalbi deserts. Partial area under the curve (AUC) tests based on
independent data showed that our model predictions were better than random
expectations in predicting infection risk of A. lumbricoides; the model successfully
identified areas of high and low infection risk in Ethiopia and Eritrea.Conclusions: Although preliminary, this occurrence-environment mapping approach
provides predictions that can guide education and mitigation efforts in the broader
East African region.
Gentry J, Sturm B, Peterson AT. Predictive Mapping of Transmission Risk of a Soil-Transmitted Helminth across East Africa: Findings from Community Prevalence Surveys. J Public Health Dev Ctries. 2016; 2(2): 150-161.
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