Journal of Applied & Environmental Microbiology
ISSN (Print): 2373-6747 ISSN (Online): 2373-6712 Website: http://www.sciepub.com/journal/jaem Editor-in-chief: Sankar Narayan Sinha
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Journal of Applied & Environmental Microbiology. 2014, 2(6), 273-280
DOI: 10.12691/jaem-2-6-2
Open AccessArticle

Where are the Mycobacterium Ulcerans? Mapping the Risk and Vulnerable Areas of Mycobacterium Infection in the Amansie West District of Ghana

Ebenezer Owusu-Sekyere1, and Daniel A. Bagah2

1Department of Development Studies, University for Development Studies, Wa, Ghana

2Department of Social, Political, and Historical Studies, University for Development Studies, Wa, Ghana

Pub. Date: November 10, 2014

Cite this paper:
Ebenezer Owusu-Sekyere and Daniel A. Bagah. Where are the Mycobacterium Ulcerans? Mapping the Risk and Vulnerable Areas of Mycobacterium Infection in the Amansie West District of Ghana. Journal of Applied & Environmental Microbiology. 2014; 2(6):273-280. doi: 10.12691/jaem-2-6-2

Abstract

Mycobacterium Ulcerans (MU) is the bacterium that causes Buruli ulcer (BU), a neglected tropical disease whose epidemiology has proven hard to pin down till date. This study was undertaken to map out the high and low risk areas of the disease in the Amansie West District, the most endemic constituency in Ghana. The disease affects people who live on less than a dollar a day and scourges mainly women and children. It is unclear where the bacterium lives in the environment and how it enters the human body. These slits in knowledge necessitated the study. Semivariograms were computed to determine the strength and the spatial dependency of the pattern of the disease. Kriging was chosen in the variogram modeling. The BU datasets exhibited a highly positively skewed histogram with possible outlying. The kriged map showed large patches of BU infections in the southern, eastern and western parts of the study area. Coincidentally, these areas are drained by the two major rivers, Oda and Offin and also characterized by intense mining and agricultural activity. The paper is of the view that the environmental characteristics and intense economic activity may be responsible for the high concentration of MU in the identified areas.

Keywords:
variogram kriging spatial patterns Buruli ulcer Mycobacterium ulcerans

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