INFLUENCE OF TOPOGRAPHIC AND HYDROGRAPHIC FACTORS ON THE SPATIAL DISTRIBUTION OF LEPTOSPIROSIS DISEASE IN SÃO PAULO COUNTY, BRAZIL: AN APPROACH USING GEOSPATIAL TECHNIQUES AND GIS ANALYSIS
Keywords: Spatial Analysis, GIS, Leptospirosis Disease, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Environmental Variables
Abstract. Leptospirosis is a zoonosis caused by Leptospira genus bacteria. Rodents, especially Rattus norvegicus, are the most frequent hosts of this microorganism in the cities. The human transmission occurs by contact with urine, blood or tissues of the rodent and contacting water or mud contaminated by rodent urine. Spatial patterns of concentration of leptospirosis are related to the multiple environmental and socioeconomic factors, like housing near flooding areas, domestic garbage disposal sites and high-density of peoples living in slums located near river channels. We used geospatial techniques and geographical information system (GIS) to analysing spatial relationship between the distribution of leptospirosis cases and distance from rivers, river density in the census sector and terrain slope factors, in Sao Paulo County, Brazil. To test this methodology we used a sample of 183 geocoded leptospirosis cases confirmed in 2007, ASTER GDEM2 data, hydrography and census sectors shapefiles. Our results showed that GIS and geospatial analysis techniques improved the mapping of the disease and permitted identify the spatial pattern of association between location of cases and spatial distribution of the environmental variables analyzed. This study showed also that leptospirosis cases might be more related to the census sectors located on higher river density areas and households situated at shorter distances from rivers. In the other hand, it was not possible to assert that slope terrain contributes significantly to the location of leptospirosis cases.