Protocol for spatial prediction of soil transmitted helminth prevalence in the Western Pacific region using a meta-analytical approach

Beth Gilmour, Kingley Wangdi, Angela Cadavid Restrepo, Tsheten Tsheten, Matthew Kelly, Archie Clements, Darren Gray, Colleen Lau, Fe Esperanza Espino, Chona Daga, Vanessa Mapalo, Susana Vaz Nery, Adam Bartlett, Eyob Alemayehu Gebreyohannes, Kefyalew Addis Alene

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Soil transmitted helminth (STH) infections are estimated to impact 24% of the world's population and are responsible for chronic and debilitating morbidity. Disadvantaged communities are among the worst affected and are further marginalized as infection prevalence fuels the poverty cycle. Ambitious targets have been set to eliminate STH infections, but accurate epidemiological data will be required to inform appropriate interventions. This paper details the protocol for an analysis that aims to produce spatial prediction mapping of STH prevalence in the Western Pacific Region (WPR).

METHODS: The protocol follows the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Protocol (PRISMA-P) guidelines. The study design will combine the principles of systematic review, meta-analysis, and geospatial analysis. Systematic searches will be undertaken in PubMed, Scopus, ProQuest, Embase, and Web of Science for studies undertaken post 2000, to identify surveys that enable the prevalence of human STH infection within the WPR to be calculated. Covariate data for multivariable analysis will be obtained from publicly accessible sources. Survey data will be geolocated, and STH prevalence and covariates will be linked to produce a spatially referenced dataset for analysis. Bayesian model-based geostatistics will be used to generate spatially continuous estimates of STH prevalence mapped to a resolution of 1 km2. A separate geospatial model will be constructed for each STH species. Predictions of prevalence will be made for unsampled locations and maps will be overlaid for each STH species to obtain co-endemicity maps.

DISCUSSION: This protocol facilitates study replication and may be applied to other infectious diseases or alternate geographies. Results of the subsequent analysis will identify geographies with high STH prevalence's and can be used to inform resource allocation in combating this neglected tropical disease.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: Open Science Framework:

Original languageEnglish
Article number55
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalSystematic Reviews
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 6 Feb 2024
Externally publishedYes


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