Exploring recent spatial patterns of cutaneous leishmaniasis and their associations with climate in some countries of the Middle East using geographical information systems

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Salahuddin M. Jaber *
Jwan H. Ibbini
Nawal S. Hijjawi
Nafn M. Amdar
Mohammed J. Huwail
Khalid Al-Aboud
(*) Corresponding Author:
Salahuddin M. Jaber | sjaber@hu.edu.jo


This study explores the spatial trends of cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) and characterises the relationships between the observed spatial patterns and climate in Jordan, Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia in 2009. Areal interpolation revealed the presence of four major hotspots of relatively high incidence rates covering most parts of Syria, central parts of Iraq, and north-western, central, south-eastern and south-western parts of Saudi Arabia. The severity of these hotspots was seen to decrease from high to low latitudes. The spatial patterns could be partly linked to precipitation (the higher the precipitation, the higher the incidence rates) and to a lesser degree to temperature (the lower the temperature, the higher the incidence rates). No significant relationship was deduced between the observed spatial patterns of incidence rates and humidity. However, these three climatic factors could be used jointly as explanatory variables (ceteris paribus) to explain part of the spatial variations of the CL incidence rates in the study area by applying geographically weighted regression.

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