Spatial parasite ecology and epidemiology: a review of methods and applications

Parasitology. 2012 Dec;139(14):1870-87. doi: 10.1017/S0031182012000698. Epub 2012 Jul 19.


The distributions of parasitic diseases are determined by complex factors, including many that are distributed in space. A variety of statistical methods are now readily accessible to researchers providing opportunities for describing and ultimately understanding and predicting spatial distributions. This review provides an overview of the spatial statistical methods available to parasitologists, ecologists and epidemiologists and discusses how such methods have yielded new insights into the ecology and epidemiology of infection and disease. The review is structured according to the three major branches of spatial statistics: continuous spatial variation; discrete spatial variation; and spatial point processes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Ecology / methods*
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Models, Statistical
  • Parasitic Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Parasitology / methods*
  • Spatial Analysis*