Cutaneous leishmaniasis prevalence and morbidity based on environmental factors in Ilam, Iran: Spatial analysis and land use regression models.
The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of the environmental factors on cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) prevalence and morbidity in Ilam province, western Iran, as a known endemic area for this disease. Accurate locations of 3237 CL patients diagnosed from 2013 to 2015, their demographic information, and data of 17 potentially predictive environmental variables (PPEVs) were prepared to be used in Geographic Information System (GIS) and Land-Use Regression (LUR) analysis. The prevalence, risk, and predictive risk maps were provided using Inverse Distance Weighting (IDW) model in GIS software. Regression analysis was used to determine how environmental variables affect on CL prevalence. All maps and regression models were developed based on the annual and three-year average of the CL prevalence. The results showed that there was statistically significant relationship (P value≤0.05) between CL prevalence and 11 (64%) PPEVs which were elevation, population, rainfall, temperature, urban land use, poorland, dry farming, inceptisol and aridisol soils, and forest and irrigated lands. The highest probability of the CL prevalence was predicted in the west of the study area and frontier with Iraq. An inverse relationship was found between CL prevalence and environmental factors, including elevation, covering soil, rainfall, agricultural irrigation, and elevation while this relation was positive for temperature, urban land use, and population density. Environmental factors were found to be an important predictive variables for CL prevalence and should be considered in management strategies for CL control.