Lymphatic Filariasis in 2016 in American Samoa: Identifying Clustering and Hotspots Using Non-Spatial and Three Spatial Analytical Methods

Wangdi, Kinley, Sheel, Meru, Fuimaono, Saipale, Graves, Patricia M., and Lau, Colleen L. (2022) Lymphatic Filariasis in 2016 in American Samoa: Identifying Clustering and Hotspots Using Non-Spatial and Three Spatial Analytical Methods. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 16 (3). e0010262.

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Background: American Samoa completed seven rounds of mass drug administration from 2000–2006 as part of the Global Programme to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (LF). However, resurgence was confirmed in 2016 through WHO-recommended school-based transmission assessment survey and a community-based survey. This paper uses data from the 2016 community survey to compare different spatial and non-spatial methods to characterise clustering and hotspots of LF.

Method: Non-spatial clustering of infection markers (antigen [Ag], microfilaraemia [Mf], and antibodies (Ab [Wb123, Bm14, Bm33]) was assessed using intra-cluster correlation coefficients (ICC) at household and village levels. Spatial dependence, clustering and hotspots were examined using semivariograms, Kulldorf’s scan statistic and Getis-Ord Gi* statistics based on locations of surveyed households.

Results: The survey included 2671 persons (750 households, 730 unique locations in 30 villages). ICCs were higher at household (0.20–0.69) than village levels (0.10–0.30) for all infection markers. Semivariograms identified significant spatial dependency for all markers (range 207–562 metres). Using Kulldorff’s scan statistic, significant spatial clustering was observed in two previously known locations of ongoing transmission: for all markers in Fagali’i and all Abs in Vaitogi. Getis-Ord Gi* statistic identified hotspots of all markers in Fagali’i, Vaitogi, and Pago Pago-Anua areas. A hotspot of Ag and Wb123 Ab was identified around the villages of Nua-Seetaga-Asili. Bm14 and Bm33 Ab hotspots were seen in Maleimi and Vaitogi-Ili’ili-Tafuna.

Conclusion: Our study demonstrated the utility of different non-spatial and spatial methods for investigating clustering and hotspots, the benefits of using multiple infection markers, and the value of triangulating results between methods

Item ID: 66303
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1935-2735
Keywords: American Samoa, lymphatic filariasis, elimination, spatial, clustering, hotspots
Copyright Information: © 2022 Wangdi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Funders: Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)
Projects and Grants: NHMRC APP1109035, NHMRC APP1158469
Date Deposited: 26 Jul 2022 04:52
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4202 Epidemiology > 420202 Disease surveillance @ 34%
45 INDIGENOUS STUDIES > 4516 Pacific Peoples health and wellbeing > 451605 Pacific Peoples epidemiology @ 33%
32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3207 Medical microbiology > 320704 Medical parasitology @ 33%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2004 Public health (excl. specific population health) > 200407 Health status (incl. wellbeing) @ 50%
20 HEALTH > 2005 Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health) > 200599 Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health) not elsewhere classified @ 50%
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