Spatial analysis of campylobacter infection in the Canadian province of Manitoba

Int J Health Geogr. 2006 Jan 16:5:2. doi: 10.1186/1476-072X-5-2.


Background: The study describes population level variations in campylobacter incidence within the Canadian province of Manitoba, and the relationship to sociodemographic and landscape related characteristics. Using data derived from the Manitoba Health Public Health Branch communicable disease surveillance database, the study applied a number of spatial and ecological techniques to visualize, explore and model campylobacter incidence for the years 1996 to 2004. Analytical techniques used in the study included spatial smoothing, the spatial scan statistic, the Gini coefficient, and Poisson regression analysis.

Results: The study demonstrated marked and statistically significant geographic variability in the rates of campylobacter incidence in Manitoba.. The incidence of campylobacter was observed to be significantly higher in populations living in rural and agricultural areas of the province, with the highest rates occurring in populations living in proximity to high densities of farm animals (cows, pigs, chickens). The study also observed that the age specific pattern of campylobacter incidence in rural Manitoba was very different than the urban pattern, with the incidence rate in the 0-4 year age group seven times higher in rural Manitoba than in the City of Winnipeg.

Conclusion: The study demonstrates the value of a deploying a diverse set of spatial techniques to better understand the dynamics of an enteric disease such as campylobacter infection. The study concludes that there may be three distinct mechanisms for the transmission of campylobacter in Manitoba which are operating simultaneously. These include broad population exposure to a centralized food system endemically infected with the campylobacter organism, exposure to local level factors such as farm animals or contaminated water, and exposure to campylobacter infection through foreign travel.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Campylobacter Infections / epidemiology*
  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Databases as Topic
  • Demography*
  • Female
  • Geography
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Manitoba / epidemiology
  • Models, Statistical
  • Risk Factors
  • Seasons
  • Time Factors