Spatiotemporal Epidemiology of Tuberculosis in Thailand from 2011 to 2020

Chinpong, Kawin; Thavornwattana, Kaewklao; Armatrmontree, Peerawich; Chienwichai, Peerut; Lawpoolsri, Saranath; Silachamroon, Udomsak; Maude, Richard J. and Rotejanaprasert, Chawarat (2022). Spatiotemporal Epidemiology of Tuberculosis in Thailand from 2011 to 2020. Biology, 11(5), article no. e755.



Tuberculosis is a leading cause of infectious disease globally, especially in developing countries. Better knowledge of spatial and temporal patterns of tuberculosis burden is important for effective control programs as well as informing resource and budget allocation. Studies have demonstrated that TB exhibits highly complex dynamics in both spatial and temporal dimensions at different levels. In Thailand, TB research has been primarily focused on surveys and clinical aspects of the disease burden with little attention on spatiotemporal heterogeneity. This study aimed to describe temporal trends and spatial patterns of TB incidence and mortality in Thailand from 2011 to 2020. Monthly TB case and death notification data were aggregated at the provincial level. Age-standardized incidence and mortality were calculated; time series and global and local clustering analyses were performed for the whole country. There was an overall decreasing trend with seasonal peaks in the winter. There was spatial heterogeneity with disease clusters in many regions, especially along international borders, suggesting that population movement and socioeconomic variables might affect the spatiotemporal distribution in Thailand. Understanding the space-time distribution of TB is useful for planning targeted disease control program activities. This is particularly important in low- and middle-income countries including Thailand to help prioritize allocation of limited resources.

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