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2.7 ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING
The Republic of Ireland (ROI) currently reports the highest incidence rates of Shiga-toxin producing Escherichia coli (STEC) enteritis and cryptosporidiosis in Europe, with the spatial distribution of both infections exhibiting a clear urban/rural divide. To date, no investigation of the role of socio-demographic profile on the incidence of either infection in the ROI has been undertaken. The current study employed bivariate analyses and Random Forest classification to identify associations between individual components of a national deprivation index and spatially aggregated cases of STEC enteritis and cryptosporidiosis. Classification accuracies ranged from 78.2% (STEC, urban) to 90.6% (cryptosporidiosis, rural). STEC incidence was (negatively) associated with a mean number of persons per room and percentage of local authority housing in both urban and rural areas, addition to lower levels of education in rural areas, while lower unemployment rates were associated with both infections, irrespective of settlement type. Lower levels of third-level education were associated with cryptosporidiosis in rural areas only. This study highlights settlement-specific disparities with respect to education, unemployment and household composition, associated with the incidence of enteric infection. Study findings may be employed for improved risk communication and surveillance to safeguard public health across socio-demographic profiles.
Cleary, E., Boudou, M. & ÓhAiseadha, C.O. (2021). Socio-Economic Factors Associated With The Incidence of Shiga-Toxin Producing Escherichia Coli (STEC) Enteritis and Cryptosporidiosis in the Republic of Ireland, 2008–2017. Epidemiology and Infection, vol. 149, (e184), pg. 1-10 doi:10.1017/S0950268821001564