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Seasonality of meningitis in Africa and climate forcing: aerosols stand out.

Abstract : Bacterial meningitis is an ongoing threat for the population of the African Meningitis Belt, a region characterized by the highest incidence rates worldwide. The determinants of the disease dynamics are still poorly understood; nevertheless, it is often advocated that climate and mineral dust have a large impact. Over the last decade, several studies have investigated this relationship at a large scale. In this analysis, we scaled down to the district-level weekly scale (which is used for in-year response to emerging epidemics), and used wavelet and phase analysis methods to define and compare the time-varying periodicities of meningitis, climate and dust in Niger. We mostly focused on detecting time-lags between the signals that were consistent across districts. Results highlighted the special case of dust in comparison to wind, humidity or temperature: a strong similarity between districts is noticed in the evolution of the time-lags between the seasonal component of dust and meningitis. This result, together with the assumption of dust damaging the pharyngeal mucosa and easing bacterial invasion, reinforces our confidence in dust forcing on meningitis seasonality. Dust data should now be integrated in epidemiological and forecasting models to make them more realistic and usable in a public health perspective.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00771443
Contributor : Rémi Laffont <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, January 8, 2013 - 4:22:33 PM
Last modification on : Friday, March 12, 2021 - 3:29:27 AM

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Lydiane Agier, Adrien Deroubaix, Nadège Martiny, Pascal Yaka, A. Djibo, et al.. Seasonality of meningitis in Africa and climate forcing: aerosols stand out.. Journal of the Royal Society Interface, the Royal Society, 2013, 10 (79), pp.20120814. ⟨10.1098/rsif.2012.0814⟩. ⟨hal-00771443⟩

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