This study evaluates the usefulness of spatio-temporal statistical tools to detect outbreaks using routine surveillance data where limited epidemiological information is available. A dataset from 2002 to 2007 containing information regarding date, origin, source and serotype of 29 586 Salmonella isolates from Thailand was analysed. Data was grouped into human and non-human categories and the analysis was performed for the top five occurring serovars for each year of the study period. A total 91 human and 39 non-human significant spatio-temporal clusters were observed, accounting for 11% and 16% of the isolates, respectively. Serovar-specific associations between human and non-human clusters were also evaluated. Results show that these statistical tools can provide information for use in outbreak prevention and detection, in countries where only limited data is available. Moreover, it is suggested that monitoring non-human reservoirs can be relevant in predicting future Salmonella human cases.
Epidemiology and Infection, 2014, Vol 142, Issue 8, p. 1614-1624