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Effects of large-scale oceanic phenomena on non-cholera vibriosis incidence in the United States: implications for climate change

  • Chloë Logar-Henderson (a1), Rebecca Ling (a1), Ashleigh R. Tuite (a1) and David N. Fisman (a1) (a2)

Abstract

Non-cholera Vibrio (NCV) species are important causes of disease. These pathogens are thermophilic and climate change could increase the risk of NCV infection. The El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is a ‘natural experiment’ that may presage ocean warming effects on disease incidence. In order to evaluate possible climatic contributions to observed increases in NCV infection, we obtained NCV case counts for the United States from publicly available surveillance data. Trends and impacts of large-scale oceanic phenomena, including ENSO, were evaluated using negative binomial and distributed non-linear lag models (DNLM). Associations between latitude and changing risk were evaluated with meta-regression. Trend models demonstrated expected seasonality (P < 0.001) and a 7% (6.1%–8.1%) annual increase in incidence from 1999 to 2014. DNLM demonstrated increased vibriosis risk following ENSO conditions over the subsequent 12 months (relative risk 1.940, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.298–2.901). The ‘relative–relative risk’ (RRR) of annual disease incidence increased with latitude (RRR per 10° increase 1.066, 95% CI 1.027–1.107). We conclude that NCV risk in the United States is impacted by ocean warming, which is likely to intensify with climate change, increasing NCV risk in vulnerable populations.

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Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: David N. Fisman, E-mail: david.fisman@utoronto.ca

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Both authors contributed equally to this work and share first authorship credit.

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References

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