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A Spatial Analysis using GIS of Risk Factors Associated with TB Incidents in Cattle Herds in England and Wales - SE3001

Tuberculosis (TB) incidents in cattle herds are known to have a strong spatial component. The disease occurs principally in the South-West and, when outbreaks occur, they tend to be spatially clustered. The broad geographical clustering has been principally ascribed to the distribution of badger populations and the localised spatial pattern to spread of disease within and between social groups. Nevertheless, this is too simplistic, as TB-infected badger populations are known to occur without herd breakdown incidents and vice versa.

By undertaking a specifically spatial analysis of TB incidents and correlating them with a range of husbandry, climatic and landscape variables, it will be possible to:
1. Describe the TB incidents in a statistically rigorous manner, using a GIS to produce maps which will assist MAFF in the planning and co-ordination of control strategies;
2. Determine whether statistical correlations exists between hypothesised risk factors (climate, badgers, soil types, husbandry, etc.) and the TB incidents without any a priori assumptions;
3. Contribute critical epidemiological information to enable a rigorous risk assessment of TB incidents in England and Wales.
Obj. No. Completed by date Description

Prepare and validate three GIS databases: populations at risk, tuberculosis incidents and ecological risk factors (climatic, land use, soil geochemistry, badger density, etc.). A fourth database to be prepared is for spoligotypes, initially for the years 1996-1997.

Perform a detailed exploratory spatial data analysis that identifies and maps space-time clusters for the TB incidents for 1987-1997. Spoligotype clusters will be identified for 1996-1997 and, where appropriate, for 1994-1995.

Perform an ecological correlation study to associate risk factors with TB incidents for 1987-1997. Spoligotypes will be associated with ecological variables.

Prepare an atlas of TB incidents for England and Wales for 1987-1997 and scientific articles for peer-reviewed publications. The atlas will include spoligotype clusters.

To conduct a descriptive analysis of the spoligotyping conducted for herd breakdowns in Cornwall for 1997/98.
Critically to assess the value of spoligotyping as an operational tool to subdivide breakdowns and thereby assist in the control procedures.

Project Documents
• Final Report : A spatial analysis using GIS of risk factors associated with TB incidents in cattle herds in England and Wales, 1987-97   (1093k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 1999

To: 2003

Cost: £188,373
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Veterinary Laboratories Agency
Animal Health              
Bovine Tuberculosis              
Plants and Animals              
Fields of Study
Animal Health