Buruli ulcer disease prevalence in Benin, West Africa: associations with land use/cover and the identification of disease clusters

International Journal of Health Geographics
Tyler WagnerRoch Christian Johnson


Buruli ulcer (BU) disease, caused by infection with the environmental mycobacterium M. ulcerans, is an emerging infectious disease in many tropical and sub-tropical countries. Although vectors and modes of transmission remain unknown, it is hypothesized that the transmission of BU disease is associated with human activities in or around aquatic environments, and that characteristics of the landscape (e.g., land use/cover) play a role in mediating BU disease. Several studies performed at relatively small spatial scales (e.g., within a single village or region of a country) support these hypotheses; however, if BU disease is associated with land use/cover characteristics, either through spatial constraints on vector-host dynamics or by mediating human activities, then large-scale (i.e., country-wide) associations should also emerge. The objectives of this study were to (1) investigate associations between BU disease prevalence in villages in Benin, West Africa and surrounding land use/cover patterns and other map-based characteristics, and (2) identify areas with greater and lower than expected prevalence rates (i.e., disease clusters) to assist with the development of prevention and control programs. Our landscape-based models i...Continue Reading


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