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Socio-economic and environmental factors associated with high lymphatic filariasis morbidity prevalence distribution in Bangladesh

Williams, Tijana, Karim, Mohammad Jahirul, Uddin, Shihab, Jahan, Sharmin, ASM, Sultan Mahmood, Forbes, Shaun P., Hooper, Anna, Taylor, Mark ORCID: and Kelly-Hope, Louise ORCID: (2023) 'Socio-economic and environmental factors associated with high lymphatic filariasis morbidity prevalence distribution in Bangladesh'. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, Vol 17, Issue 7, e0011457.

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Lymphatic filariasis (LF) is a vector-borne parasitic disease which affects 70 million people worldwide and causes life-long disabilities. In Bangladesh, there are an estimated 44,000 people suffering from clinical conditions such as lymphoedema and hydrocoele, with the greatest burden in the northern Rangpur division. To better understand the factors associated with this distribution, this study examined socio-economic and environmental factors at division, district, and sub-district levels.

A retrospective ecological study was conducted using key socio-economic (nutrition, poverty, employment, education, house infrastructure) and environmental (temperature, precipitation, elevation, waterway) factors. Characteristics at division level were summarised. Bivariate analysis using Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient was conducted at district and sub-district levels, and negative binomial regression analyses were conducted across high endemic sub-districts (n = 132). Maps were produced of high endemic sub-districts to visually illustrate the socio-economic and environmental factors found to be significant.

The highest proportion of rural population (86.8%), poverty (42.0%), tube well water (85.4%), and primary employment in agriculture (67.7%) was found in Rangpur division. Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient at district and sub-district level show that LF morbidity prevalence was significantly (p<0.05) positively correlated with households without electricity (district rs = 0.818; sub-district rs = 0.559), households with tube well water (sub-district rs = 0.291), households without toilet (district rs = 0.504; sub-district rs = 0.40), mean annual precipitation (district rs = 0.695; sub-district rs = 0.503), mean precipitation of wettest quarter (district rs = 0.707; sub-district rs = 0.528), and significantly negatively correlated with severely stunted children (district rs = -0.723; sub-district rs = -0.370), mean annual temperature (district rs = -0.633.; sub-district rs = 0.353) and mean temperature (wettest quarter) ((district rs = -0.598; sub-district rs = 0.316) Negative binomial regression analyses at sub-district level found severely stunted children (p = <0.001), rural population (p = 0.002), poverty headcount (p = 0.001), primary employment in agriculture (p = 0.018), households without toilet (p = <0.001), households without electricity (p = 0.002) and mean temperature (wettest quarter) (p = 0.045) to be significant.

This study highlights the value of using available data to identify key drivers associated with high LF morbidity prevalence, which may help national LF programmes better identify populations at risk and implement timely and targeted public health messages and intervention strategies.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: QX Parasitology > QX 45 Host-parasite relations
WA Public Health > WA 30 Socioeconomic factors in public health (General)
WC Communicable Diseases > Tropical and Parasitic Diseases > WC 880 Filariasis and related conditions (General)
WH Hemic and Lymphatic Systems > Lymphatic System > WH 700 Lymphatic system. Lymphatic diseases (General)
Faculty: Department: Biological Sciences > Department of Tropical Disease Biology
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
SWORD Depositor: JISC Pubrouter
Depositing User: JISC Pubrouter
Date Deposited: 13 Jul 2023 08:14
Last Modified: 13 Jul 2023 08:14


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