Spatiotemporal analysis of epizootic raccoon rabies propagation in Connecticut, 1991-1995.

B. T. Lucey, C. A. Russell, D. Smith, M. L. Wilson, A. Long, L. A. Waller, J. E. Childs, L. A. Real

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


The quantitative analysis of pathogen transmission within its specific spatial context should improve our ability to predict and control the epizootic spread of that disease. We compared two methods for calibrating the effect of local, spatially distributed environmental heterogeneities on disease spread. Using the time-of-first-appearance of raccoon rabies across the 169 townships in Connecticut, we estimated local spatial variation in township-to-township transmission rate using Trend Surface Analysis (TSA) and then compared these estimates with those based on an earlier probabilistic simulation using the same data. Both the probabilistic simulation and the TSA reveal significant reduction in transmission when local spatial domains are separated by rivers. The probabilistic simulation suggested that township-to-township transmission was reduced sevenfold for townships separated by a river. The global effect of this sevenfold reduction is to increase the time-to-first-appearance in the eastern townships of Connecticut by approximately 29.7% (spread was from west to east). TSA revealed a similar effect of rivers with an overall reduction in rate of local propagation due to rivers of approximately 22%. The 7.7% difference in these two estimates reveals slightly different aspects of the spatial dynamics of this epizootic. Together, these two methods can be used to construct an overall picture of the combined effects of local spatial variation in township-to-township transmission on patterns of local rate of propagation at scales larger than the immediate nearest neighboring townships.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-86
Number of pages10
JournalVector borne and zoonotic diseases (Larchmont, N.Y.)
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


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