Near real-time space-time cluster analysis for detection of enteric disease outbreaks in a community setting

Aharona Glatman-Freedman, Zalman Kaufman, Eran Kopel, Ravit Bassal, Diana Taran, Lea Valinsky, Vered Agmon, Manor Shpriz, Daniel Cohen, Emilia Anis, Tamy Shohat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives To enhance timely surveillance of bacterial enteric pathogens, space-time cluster analysis was introduced in Israel in May 2013. Methods Stool isolation data of Salmonella, Shigella, and Campylobacter from patients of a large Health Maintenance Organization were analyzed weekly by ArcGIS and SaTScan, and cluster results were sent promptly to local departments of health (LDOHs). Results During eighteen months, we identified 52 Shigella sonnei clusters, two Salmonella clusters, and no Campylobacter clusters. S. sonnei clusters lasted from one to 33 days and included three to 30 individuals. Thirty-one (60%) of the S. sonnei clusters were known to LDOHs prior to cluster analysis. Clusters not previously known by the LDOHs prompted epidemiologic investigations. In 31 of the 37 (84%) confirmed clusters, educational institutes (nursery schools, kindergartens, and a primary school) were involved. Conclusions Cluster analysis demonstrated capability to complement enteric disease surveillance. Scaling up the system can further enhance timely detection and control of outbreaks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-106
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Infection
Volume73
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2016

Keywords

  • Cluster analysis
  • Enteric pathogens
  • Geographical information system (GIS)
  • Outbreak detection
  • Public health

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