This paper reviews recent studies on the spatial epidemiology of human schistosomiasis in Africa. The integrated use of geographical information systems, remote sensing and geostatistics has provided new insights into the ecology and epidemiology of schistosomiasis at a variety of spatial scales. Because large-scale patterns of transmission are influenced by climatic conditions, an increasing number of studies have used remotely sensed environmental data to predict spatial distributions, most recently using Bayesian methods of inference. Such data-driven approaches allow for a more rational implementation of intervention strategies across the continent. It is suggested that improved incorporation of transmission dynamics into spatial models and assessment of uncertainties inherent in data and modelling approaches represent important future research directions.

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