Spatio-temporal models to determine association between Campylobacter cases and environment

Roy A. Sanderson*, James A. Maas, Alasdair P. Blain, Russell Gorton, Jessica Ward, Sarah J. O'Brien, Paul R. Hunter, Stephen P. Rushton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Campylobacteriosis is a major cause of gastroenteritis in the UK, and although 70% of cases are associated with food sources, the remainder are probably associated with wider environmental exposure. Methods: In order to investigate wider environmental transmission, we conducted a spatiotemporal analysis of the association of human cases of Campylobacter in the Tyne catchment with weather, climate, hydrology and land use. A hydrologicalmodel was used to predict surfacewater flow in the Tyne catchment over 5 years. We analysed associations between populationadjusted Campylobacter case rate and environmental factors hypothesized to be important in disease using a two-stage modelling framework. First, we investigated associations between temporal variation in case rate in relation to surface-water flow, temperature, evapotranspiration and rainfall, using linearmixed-effects models. Second, we used the random effects for the firstmodel to quantify how spatial variation in static landscape features of soil and land use impacted on the likely differences between subcatchment associations of case rate with the temporal variables. Results: Population-adjusted Campylobacter case rates were associated with periods of high predicted surface-water flow, and during above average temperatures. Subcatchments with cattle on stagnogley soils, and to a lesser extent sheep plus cattle grazing, had higher Campylobacter case rates. Conclusions: Areas of stagnogley soils with mixed livestock grazing may be more vulnerable to both Campylobacter spread and exposure during periods of high rainfall, with resultant increased risk of human cases of the disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberdyx217
Pages (from-to)202-216
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Epidemiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Medical Research Council Grant, the Natural Environment Research Council, the Economic & Social Research Council, the Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council and the Food Standards Agency through the Environmental & Social Ecology of Human Infectious Diseases Initiative (ENIGMA Consortium—study of Campylobacter project: grant reference G1100799/1).

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author 2017; all rights reserved. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the International Epidemiological Association.

Copyright 2019 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Campylobacter
  • Hydrology
  • Livestock
  • Rainfall
  • Soils


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