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Using Geographic Information System-based Ecologic Niche Models to Forecast the Risk of Hantavirus Infection in Shandong Province, China

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  • State Key Laboratory of Pathogen and Biosecurity, Beijing Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology, Beijing, People's Republic of China; Shandong Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Jinan, People's Republic of China; Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland; Institute of Disease Control and Prevention of Chinese People's Liberation Army

Hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) is an important public health problem in Shandong Province, China. In this study, we combined ecologic niche modeling with geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing techniques to identify the risk factors and affected areas of hantavirus infections in rodent hosts. Land cover and elevation were found to be closely associated with the presence of hantavirus-infected rodent hosts. The averaged area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was 0.864, implying good performance. The predicted risk maps based on the model were validated both by the hantavirus-infected rodents' distribution and HFRS human case localities with a good fit. These findings have the applications for targeting control and prevention efforts.

Author Notes

*Address correspondence to Wu-Chun Cao and Li-Qun Fang, 20 Dong-Da-Jie Street, Feng-Tai District, Beijing 100071, P. R. China. E-mails: caowc@nic.bmi.ac.cn and fanglq@nic.bmi.ac.cn†The first two authors contributed equally to this study.

Financial support: The study was supported by the Chinese National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars (no. 30725032), Special Program for Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases in China (no. 2008ZX10004-012, no. 2009ZX10004-720), Natural Science Foundation of China (no. 30590374, no. 30972521).

Authors' addresses: Lan Wei, Quan Qian, Xiu-Jun Li, Hong Yang, Li-Qun Fang, and Wu-Chun Cao, Beijing Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology, State Key Laboratory of Pathogen and Biosecurity, Feng-Tai District, Beijing, Peoples' Republic of China, E-mails: weilanisme@gmail.com, qianquanmail@yahoo.com.cn, xjli@sdu.edu.cn, anni_hong@163.com, fanglq@nic.bmi.ac.cn, and caowc@nic.bmi.ac.cn. Zhi-Qiang Wang, Shao-Xia Song, and Xian-Jun Wang, Shandong Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Jinan, People's Republic of China, E-mails: wzq3678@126.com, songsong7921@163.com, and xjwang62@163.com. Gregory E. Glass, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, E-mail: ggurrigl@jhsph.edu. Wen-Yi Zhang, Institute of Disease Control and Prevention of Chinese People's Liberation Army, Feng-Tai District, Beijing, Peoples' Republic of China, E-mail: zwy0419@126.com.

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