Document Detail

Raising the level of analysis of food-borne outbreaks: food-sharing networks in rural coastal Ecuador.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18379421     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
OBJECTIVES: Consuming contaminated food is a well-documented individual-level risk factor for diarrheal disease. The sharing of food also influences the distribution of diarrheal disease risk through a community and region. Understanding this social process at a population level is therefore an important dimension of risk not captured by standard individual-level analyses. We examined social networks related to food-sharing in rural villages at 2 scales: within a village, examining whether connections within these networks clustered or were uniformly spread; and among villages, looking at whether food-sharing networks differed according to the village's remoteness from a population center.
METHODS: We surveyed 2129 individuals aged 13 years and older in 2003-2004, within a representative (block-randomized) sample of 21 rural villages in Esmeraldas province, northern coastal Ecuador. We calculated degree (number of social contacts) for a social network defined by sharing food.
RESULTS: Networks of households sharing food differ according to remoteness from a metropolitan center. On average, residents living in "far villages" had 2 more social contacts than those in "close villages," and 12 more years of residence in their village. Estimates of transmissibility (a measure of outbreak potential) based on network structure varied as much as 2-fold across these villages.
CONCLUSIONS: Food-sharing practices link particular households in rural villages and have implications for the spread of food-borne pathogens. The food-sharing networks in remote rural villages are heterogeneous and clustered, consistent with contemporary theories about disease transmitters. Network-based measures may offer tools for predicting patterns of disease outbreaks, as well as guidance for interventions.
James A Trostle; Alan Hubbard; James Scott; William Cevallos; Sarah J Bates; Joseph N S Eisenberg
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Epidemiology (Cambridge, Mass.)     Volume:  19     ISSN:  1044-3983     ISO Abbreviation:  Epidemiology     Publication Date:  2008 May 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-04-17     Completed Date:  2008-07-31     Revised Date:  2014-09-10    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9009644     Medline TA:  Epidemiology     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  384-90     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Cooperative Behavior*
Data Interpretation, Statistical
Diarrhea / epidemiology*
Disease Outbreaks*
Ecuador / epidemiology
Foodborne Diseases / epidemiology*
Health Surveys
Population Surveillance
Risk Factors
Rural Population
Grant Support

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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