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Geographical information systems in parasitology : a review of potential applications using the example of animal trypanosomosis in West Africa

De La Rocque S., Michel J.F., Bouyer J., De Wispelaere G., Cuisance D.. 2005. Parassitologia, 47 (1) : p. 97-104.

The epidemiology of vector-borne diseases is complex due to the variability in the ecology of the different actors involved, i.e. hosts, parasites and vectors. The transmission of African animal trypanosomosis in the West-African savannah region is an excellent example of this complexity: riverine tsetse flies have an heterogeneous distribution along the rivers, depending of suitable habitats, and transmit pathogenic trypanosomes were they use domestic animal as feeding hosts. Contrasting epidemiological situations may thus occur at the local scale, and a broad view of the overall environment is necessary to quantify the interfaces in time and space between hosts and vectors. Geographical Information Systems (GIS) can provide new insight into the study of such complex epidemiological processes. GIS is a powerful technology that has been used mainly in map-making, and an enormous amount of knowledge can be gained simply by geographical data projection. GIS also allows juxtaposition of different types of information, creation of new variables, testing of theories and correlation, and generating of predictive models. The purpose of the present paper is to exemplify the potential application of GIS using a recent study carried out on animal trypanosomosis in a cattle-raising area of Burkina Faso.

Thématique : Organismes nuisibles des animaux

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