Spatial Analysis of Notified Cryptosporidiosis Infections in Brisbane, Australia

Annals of Epidemiology, Volume 19, Issue 12, Pages 900-907 (December 2009)

Wenbiao Hu, Kerrie Mengersen, and Shilu Tong

“This study explored the spatial distribution of notified cryptosporidiosis cases and identified major socioeconomic factors associated with the transmission of cryptosporidiosis in Brisbane, Australia.

“We obtained the computerized data sets on the notified cryptosporidiosis cases and their key socioeconomic factors by statistical local area (SLA) in Brisbane for the period of 1996 to 2004 from the Queensland Department of Health and Australian Bureau of Statistics, respectively. We used spatial empirical Bayes rates smoothing to estimate the spatial distribution of cryptosporidiosis cases. A spatial classification and regression tree (CART) model was developed to explore the relationship between socioeconomic factors and the incidence rates of cryptosporidiosis.

“Spatial empirical Bayes analysis reveals that the cryptosporidiosis infections were primarily concentrated in the northwest and southeast of Brisbane. A spatial CART model shows that the relative risk for cryptosporidiosis transmission was 2.4 when the value of the social economic index for areas (SEIFA) was over 1028 and the proportion of residents with low educational attainment in an SLA exceeded 8.8%.

“There was remarkable variation in spatial distribution of cryptosporidiosis infections in Brisbane. Spatial pattern of cryptosporidiosis seems to be associated with SEIFA and the proportion of residents with low education attainment.”