A retrospective observational study was conducted to identify fascioliasis hotspots, clusters, potential risk factors and to map fascioliasis risk in domestic ruminants in Bangladesh. Cases of fascioliasis in cattle, buffalo, sheep and goats from all districts in Bangladesh between 2011 and 2013 were identified via secondary surveillance data from the Department of Livestock Services' Epidemiology Unit. From each case report, date of report, species affected and district data were extracted. The total number of domestic ruminants in each district was used to calculate fascioliasis cases per ten thousand animals at risk per district, and this was used for cluster and hotspot analysis. Clustering was assessed with Moran's spatial autocorrelation statistic, hotspots with the local indicator of spatial association (LISA) statistic and space-time clusters with the scan statistic (Poisson model). The association between district fascioliasis prevalence and climate (temperature, precipitation), elevation, land cover and water bodies was investigated using a spatial regression model.
A total of 1,723,971 cases of fascioliasis were reported in the three-year study period in cattle (1,164,560), goats (424,314), buffalo (88,924) and sheep (46,173). A total of nine hotspots were identified; one of these persisted in each of the three years. Only two local clusters were found. Five space-time clusters located within 22 districts were also identified. Annual risk maps of fascioliasis cases correlated with the hotspots and clusters detected. Cultivated and managed (P < 0.001) and artificial surface (P = 0.04) land cover areas, and elevation (P = 0.003) were positively and negatively associated with fascioliasis in Bangladesh, respectively.
Results indicate that due to land use characteristics some areas of Bangladesh are at greater risk of fascioliasis. The potential risk factors, hot spots and clusters identified in this study can be used to guide science-based treatment and control decisions for fascioliasis in Bangladesh and in other similar geo-climatic zones throughout the world.