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Examining geospatial and temporal distribution of invasive non-typhoidal Salmonella disease occurrence in sub-Saharan Africa: a systematic review and modelling study.

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Fiorino, Fabio 
Pettini, Elena 
Marchello, Christian 


BACKGROUND: Invasive non-typhoidal Salmonella (iNTS) disease is a significant health concern in sub-Saharan Africa. While our knowledge of a larger-scale variation is growing, understanding of the subnational variation in iNTS disease occurrence is lacking, yet crucial for targeted intervention. METHOD: We performed a systematic review of reported occurrences of iNTS disease in sub-Saharan Africa, consulting literature from PubMed, Embase and Web of Science published since 2000. Eligibility for inclusion was not limited by study type but required that studies reported original data on human iNTS diseases based on the culture of a normally sterile site, specifying subnational locations and the year, and were available as full-text articles. We excluded studies that diagnosed iNTS disease based on clinical indications, cultures from non-sterile sites or serological testing. We estimated the probability of occurrence of iNTS disease for sub-Saharan Africa on 20 km × 20 km grids by exploring the association with geospatial covariates such as malaria, HIV, childhood growth failure, access to improved water, and sanitation using a boosted regression tree. RESULTS: We identified 130 unique references reporting human iNTS disease in 21 countries published from 2000 through 2020. The estimated probability of iNTS occurrence grids showed significant spatial heterogeneity at all levels (20 km × 20 km grids, subnational, country and subregional levels) and temporal heterogeneity by year. For 2020, the probability of occurrence was higher in Middle Africa (0.34, 95% CI: 0.25 to 0.46), followed by Western Africa (0.33, 95% CI: 0.23 to 0.44), Eastern Africa (0.24, 95% CI: 0.17 to 0.33) and Southern Africa (0.08, 95% CI: 0.03 to 0.11). Temporal heterogeneity indicated that the probability of occurrence increased between 2000 and 2020 in countries such as the Republic of the Congo (0.05 to 0.59) and Democratic Republic of the Congo (0.10 to 0.48) whereas it decreased in countries such as Uganda (0.65 to 0.23) or Zimbabwe (0.61 to 0.37). CONCLUSION: The iNTS disease occurrence varied greatly across sub-Saharan Africa, with certain regions being disproportionately affected. Exploring regions at high risk for iNTS disease, despite the limitations in our data, may inform focused resource allocation. This targeted approach may enhance efforts to combat iNTS disease in more affected areas.


Peer reviewed: True


epidemiology, public health, risk factors, Humans, Child, Salmonella Infections, Salmonella, Typhoid Fever, Malaria, Africa South of the Sahara

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BMJ Open

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European Commission Horizon 2020 (H2020) Societal Challenges (815439)