Exploratory Analysis of Climate Drivers of Vibrio Vulnificus Wound Infections in the Southeastern US Open Access

Waller, Leslie Anne (2015)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/mc87pq972?locale=en


Introduction: Vibrio vulnificus is a gram-negative marine bacteria that causes gastroenteritis and skin and soft tissue infections through exposure of open wounds to sea water. The infection is known as a seasonal infection, with cases peaking in the late summer. Due to the pathogens affinity for brackish and salty warm water, there is much concern surrounding the impacts of climate change on its behavior and likelihood of cases to increase. This research aims to test associations between environmental parameters and reported cases of v. vulnificus skin and soft tissue infections.

Methods: Poisson time series regressions were used to test precipitation and maximum daily temperature as predictors of cases at different lag times. Cases were mapped and analyzed using Local Moran's I and kernel density functions to assess clusters of cases.

Results: Precipitation was only rarely significant, whereas temperature was significant in most models. Three full models were significant: Mississippi and Florida at the 5 day lag time, and Alabama at the 30 day lag time.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Methods 4

-Data Sources and Preparation 4

-Data Analysis 5

Results 7

-General Trends 7

-Regression Analysis 8

Discussion 10

-General Trends 10

-Analysis 13

-Limitations 14

-Future Directions 15

Conclusions and Recommendations 17

References 18

Tables and Figures 22

-Figure 1: Causal Pathway of V. vulnificus 22

-Figure 2: Cases Reported per Year 22

-Figure 3: Cases Stratified by Year and Month 23

-Table 1: Case Counts by State, Stratified by Demogrpahics 24

-Table 2: Case Statistics by Age and Sex 24

-Table 3: Case Counts by Exposure Type 25

-Figure 4: Spatial Distribution of Cases in Region 25

-Figure 6: Density Map of Cases 26

Appendix 1 27

Appendix 2 29

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