The simultaneous effects of spatial and social networks on cholera transmission

Sophia Giebultowicz, Mohammad Ali, Mohammad Yunus, Michael Emch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study uses social network and spatial analytical methods simultaneously to understand cholera transmission in rural Bangladesh. Both have been used separately to incorporate context into health studies, but using them together is a new and recent approach. Data include a spatially referenced longitudinal demographic database consisting of approximately 200,000 people and a database of all laboratory-confirmed cholera cases from 1983 to 2003. A complete kinship-based network linking households is created, and distance matrices are also constructed to model spatial relationships. A spatial error-social effects model tested for cholera clustering in socially linked households while accounting for spatial factors. Results show that there was social clustering in five out of twenty-one years while accounting for both known and unknown environmental variables. This suggests that environmental cholera transmission is significant and social networks also influence transmission, but not as consistently. Simultaneous spatial and social network analysis may improve understanding of disease transmission.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number604372
JournalInterdisciplinary Perspectives on Infectious Diseases
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


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