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Environ Health Perspect. 2012 Feb;120(2):260-6. doi: 10.1289/ehp.1003270. Epub 2011 Oct 20.

Spatial patterns and socioecological drivers of dengue fever transmission in Queensland, Australia.

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School of Population Health, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.



Understanding how socioecological factors affect the transmission of dengue fever (DF) may help to develop an early warning system of DF.


We examined the impact of socioecological factors on the transmission of DF and assessed potential predictors of locally acquired and overseas-acquired cases of DF in Queensland, Australia.


We obtained data from Queensland Health on the numbers of notified DF cases by local government area (LGA) in Queensland for the period 1 January 2002 through 31 December 2005. Data on weather and the socioeconomic index were obtained from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and the Australian Bureau of Statistics, respectively. A Bayesian spatial conditional autoregressive model was fitted at the LGA level to quantify the relationship between DF and socioecological factors.


Our estimates suggest an increase in locally acquired DF of 6% [95% credible interval (CI): 2%, 11%] and 61% (95% CI: 2%, 241%) in association with a 1-mm increase in average monthly rainfall and a 1°C increase in average monthly maximum temperature between 2002 and 2005, respectively. By contrast, overseas-acquired DF cases increased by 1% (95% CI: 0%, 3%) and by 1% (95% CI: 0%, 2%) in association with a 1-mm increase in average monthly rainfall and a 1-unit increase in average socioeconomic index, respectively.


Socioecological factors appear to influence the transmission of DF in Queensland, but the drivers of locally acquired and overseas-acquired DF may differ. DF risk is spatially clustered with different patterns for locally acquired and overseas-acquired cases.

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