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BMC Infect Dis. 2013 Nov 16;13:547. doi: 10.1186/1471-2334-13-547.

Epidemiological features and risk factors associated with the spatial and temporal distribution of human brucellosis in China.

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  • 1State Key Laboratory of Pathogens and Biosecurity, Beijing Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology, 20 Dong-Da Street, Fengtai District, Beijing 100071, People's Republic of China. fanglq@bmi.ac.cn.



Human brucellosis incidence in China has been increasing dramatically since 1999. However, epidemiological features and potential factors underlying the re-emergence of the disease remain less understood.


Data on human and animal brucellosis cases at the county scale were collected for the year 2004 to 2010. Also collected were environmental and socioeconomic variables. Epidemiological features including spatial and temporal patterns of the disease were characterized, and the potential factors related to the spatial heterogeneity and the temporal trend of were analysed using Poisson regression analysis, Granger causality analysis, and autoregressive distributed lag (ADL) models, respectively.


The epidemic showed a significantly higher spatial correlation with the number of sheep and goats than swine and cattle. The disease was most prevalent in grassland areas with elevation between 800-1,600 meters. The ADL models revealed that local epidemics were correlated with comparatively lower temperatures and less sunshine in winter and spring, with a 1-7 month lag before the epidemic peak in May.


Our findings indicate that human brucellosis tended to occur most commonly in grasslands at moderate elevation where sheep and goats were the predominant livestock, and in years with cooler winter and spring or less sunshine.

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