Low-altitude outbreaks of human fascioliasis related with summer rainfall in Gilan province, Iran

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Abdoreza Salahi-Moghaddam
Majid Habibi-Nokhandam
Màrius V. Fuentes *
(*) Corresponding Author:
Màrius V. Fuentes | mario.v.fuentes@uv.es

Abstract

Following human fascioliasis outbreaks in 1988 and 1999 in Gilan province, northern Iran, efforts are now made to shed light on the seasonal pattern of fascioliasis transmission in this endemic area, taking into account snail host populations, climatic conditions and human cases. Populations of the intermediate host snail (Lymnaea spp.) peak in May and November, while there is a fourfold increase in the rate of human fascioliasis in February compared to that of September. Transmission is likely to occur mainly in late autumn and sporadically in late spring. Rainfall, seasonally analysed in periods of 3 years, indicates that accumulated summer rainfall may be related with the 1988 and 1999 human fascioliasis outbreaks. Although a more detailed picture, based on the analysis of further abiotic and biotic factors influencing fascioliasis transmission in this area, is required to substantiate this hypothesis, our results serve as the first step of a geographical information system project concerning the epidemiological study of fascioliasis in Iran. This local-scale study concerning the effects of climate change and natural disasters on the spread of fascioliasis aims to facilitate the understanding of what goes on at the regional scale in this respect.

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