The epidemiology of gonorrhoea in London: A Bayesian spatial modelling approach

O. Le Polain De Waroux*, R. J. Harris, Gwenda Hughes, Paul Crook

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


SUMMARY Data obtained from genitourinary medicine clinics through a comprehensive surveillance system were used in a Bayesian mixed-effects Poisson regression model to explore socio-demographic individual and ecological risk factors for gonorrhoea in London, as well as its spatial clustering. The spatial analysis was performed at the Middle-layer Super Output Area level (median population size 7200). A total of 12452 individuals were diagnosed during the 2-year study period (2009-2010). The study confirmed the presence of 'core areas' of high incidence, and identified 'core' high-risk groups, in particular young adults (16-29 years), males, black Caribbeans and more deprived areas. The individual (age, sex, ethnicity) and area-level (deprivation, teenage pregnancies, students) model covariates accounted for 48% of the variance. Most of the remaining variance was explained by the spatial effect, thus capturing other spatially distributed factors associated with gonorrhoea, such as local sexual networks. These findings will be useful in identifying areas for targeted interventions, such as STI testing and health promotion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-220
Number of pages10
JournalEpidemiology and Infection
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014


  • Epidemiology
  • Gonorrhoea
  • Infectious disease control
  • Surveillance


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