Spatio-temporal dynamics of tick-borne diseases in north-central wisconsin from 2000–2016

Austin Rau, Claudia Munoz-Zanzi, Anna M. Schotthoefer, Jonathan D. Oliver, Jesse D. Berman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Lyme disease is a well-recognized public health problem in the USA, however, other tick-borne diseases also have major public health impacts. Yet, limited research has evaluated changes in the spatial and temporal patterns of non-Lyme tick-borne diseases within endemic regions. Using laboratory data from a large healthcare system in north-central Wisconsin from 2000–2016, we applied a Kulldorf’s scan statistic to analyze spatial, temporal and seasonal clusters of laboratory-positive cases of human granulocytic anaplasmosis (HGA), babesiosis, and ehrlichiosis at the county level. Older males were identified as the subpopulation at greatest risk for non-Lyme tick-borne diseases and we observed a statistically significant spatial and temporal clustering of cases (p < 0.05). HGA risk shifted from west to east over time (2000–2016) with a relative risk (RR) ranging from 3.30 to 11.85, whereas babesiosis risk shifted from south to north and west over time (2004–2016) with an RR ranging from 4.33 to 4.81. Our study highlights the occurrence of non-Lyme tick-borne diseases, and identifies at-risk subpopulations and shifting spatial and temporal heterogeneities in disease risk. Our findings can be used by healthcare providers and public health practitioners to increase public awareness and improve case detection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5105
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 2 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This research was funded by the University of Minnesota Office of the Vice President of Research, Minnesota Futures Grant. Support was also provided by the Marshfield Clinic Research Institute.


  • Geographic information systems (GIS)
  • SatScan
  • Spatial analysis
  • Spatial epidemiology
  • Tick-borne diseases

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

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