Disease mapping in veterinary epidemiology: a Bayesian geostatistical approach

Biggeri, Annibale; Dreassi, Emanuela; Catelan, Dolores; Rinaldi, Laura; Lagazio, Corrado; Cringoli, Giuseppe
August 2006
Statistical Methods in Medical Research;Aug2006, Vol. 15 Issue 4, p337
Academic Journal
journal article
Model-based geostatistics and Bayesian approaches are useful in the context of veterinary epidemiology when point data have been collected by appropriate study design. We take advantage of an example of Epidemiological Surveillance on urban settings where a two-stage sampling design with first stage transects is applied to study the risk of dog parasite infection in the city of Naples, 2004-2005. We specified Bayesian Gaussian spatial exponential models and Bayesian kriging were performed to predict the continuous risk surface of parasite infection on the study region. We compared the results with those obtained by the application of hierarchical Bayesian models on areal data (proportion of positive specimens by transect). The models results were consistent with each other and the Bayesian geostatistical approach proved to be more accurate in identifying areas at risk of zoonotic parasitic diseases. In general, larger risk areas were identified at the city border where wild dogs mixed with domestic dogs and human or urban barriers were less present.


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