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Land use impacts on parasitic infection: A cross-sectional epidemiological study on the role of irrigated agriculture in schistosome infection in a dammed landscape

Citation

Lund, Andrea et al. (2021), Land use impacts on parasitic infection: A cross-sectional epidemiological study on the role of irrigated agriculture in schistosome infection in a dammed landscape, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.sf7m0cg4m

Abstract

Background: Water resources development promotes agricultural expansion and food security. But are these benefits offset by increased infectious disease risk? Dam construction on the Senegal River in 1986 was followed by agricultural expansion and increased transmission of human schistosomes. Yet the mechanisms linking these  processes at the individual and household levels remain unclear. We investigated the association between household land use and schistosome infection in children.

Methods: We analyzed cross-sectional household survey data (n = 655) collected in 16 rural villages in August 2016 across demographic, socio-economic and land use dimensions, which were matched to S. haematobium (n = 1232) and S. mansoni (n = 1222) infection data collected from school-aged children. Mixed effects regression determined the relationship between irrigated area and schistosome infection presence and intensity.

Results: Controlling for socio-economic and demographic risk factors, irrigated area cultivated by a household was associated with an increase in the presence of S. haematobium infection (odds ratio [OR] = 1.14; 95% confidence interval [95% CI]: 1.03, 1.28) but not S. mansoni infection (OR = 1.02; 95% CI: 0.93, 1.11). Associations between infection intensity and irrigated area were positive but imprecise (S. haematobium: rate ratio [RR] = 1.05; 95% CI: 0.98, 1.13, S. mansoni: RR = 1.09; 95% CI: 0.89, 1.32).

Conclusion: Household engagement in irrigated agriculture increases individual risk of S. haematobium but not S. mansoni infection. Increased contact with irrigated landscapes likely drives exposure, with greater impacts on households relying on agricultural livelihoods.

Funding

National Science Foundation, Award: 1414102

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Award: OPP1114050

National Institutes of Health, Award: R01TW010286

Stanford University, Award: James and Nancy Kelso Fellowship: Interdisciplinary Graduate Fellowship

Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources, Award: Davis Family E-IPER Fellowship

Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources, Award: Davis Family E-IPER Fellowship