Using geographically weighted regression (GWR) to explore spatial varying relationships of immature mosquitoes and human densities with the incidence of dengue

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2011 Jul;8(7):2798-815. doi: 10.3390/ijerph8072798. Epub 2011 Jul 6.


The only way for dengue to spread in the human population is through the human-mosquito-human cycle. Most research in this field discusses the dengue-mosquito or dengue-human relationships over a particular study area, but few have explored the local spatial variations of dengue-mosquito and dengue-human relationships within a study area. This study examined whether spatial heterogeneity exists in these relationships. We used Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) and Geographically Weighted Regression (GWR) models to analyze spatial relationships and identify the geographical heterogeneities by using the information of entomology and dengue cases in the cities of Kaohsiung and Fengshan in 2002. Our findings indicate that dengue-mosquito and dengue-human relationships were significantly spatially non-stationary. This means that in some areas higher dengue incidences were associated with higher vector/host densities, but in some areas higher incidences were related to lower vector/host densities. We demonstrated that a GWR model can be used to geographically differentiate the relationships of dengue incidence with immature mosquito and human densities. This study provides more insights into spatial targeting of intervention and control programs against dengue outbreaks within the study areas.

Keywords: Aedes mosquitoes; dengue; geographically weighted regression (GWR); human density; spatial heterogeneity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aedes / growth & development
  • Aedes / physiology*
  • Aedes / virology
  • Animals
  • Dengue / epidemiology*
  • Dengue / virology
  • Dengue Virus*
  • Ecosystem
  • Environment
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Insect Vectors / physiology*
  • Insect Vectors / virology
  • Larva / physiology
  • Larva / virology
  • Least-Squares Analysis
  • Models, Biological
  • Population Dynamics*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Taiwan / epidemiology