Linking soils and human health: geospatial analysis of ground-sampled soil data in relation to community-level podoconiosis data in North West Cameroon

Gislam, H, Burnside, N G, Brolly, M, Deribe, K, Davey, G, Wanji, S, Suh, C E, Kemp, S J, Watts, M J and Le Blond, J S (2020) Linking soils and human health: geospatial analysis of ground-sampled soil data in relation to community-level podoconiosis data in North West Cameroon. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 114 (12). pp. 937-946. ISSN 0035-9203

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Abstract

Background
Podoconiosis is a form of leg swelling, which arises when individuals are exposed over time to red clay soil formed from alkaline volcanic rock. The exact causal agent of the disease is unknown. This study investigates associations between podoconiosis disease data and ground-sampled soil data from North West Cameroon.

Methods
The mineralogy and elemental concentrations were measured in the soil samples and the data were spatially interpolated. Mean soil values were calculated from a 3 km buffer region around the prevalence data points to perform statistical analysis. Analysis included Spearman's rho correlation, binary logistic regression and principal component analysis (PCA).

Results
Six elements, barium, beryllium, potassium, rubidium, strontium and thallium, as well as two minerals, potassium feldspar and quartz, were identified as statistically related to podoconiosis. PCA did not show distinct separation between the spatial locations with or without recorded cases of podoconiosis, indicating that other factors such as shoe-wearing behaviour and genetics may significantly influence podoconiosis occurrence and prevalence in North West Cameroon.

Conclusion
Several soil variables were statistically significantly related to podoconiosis. To further the current study, future investigations will look at the inflammatory pathway response of cells after exposure to these variables.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Global Health and Infection
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2020 09:19
Last Modified: 25 Feb 2022 13:12
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/94936

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Project NameSussex Project NumberFunderFunder Ref
Wellcome Trust - Brighton and Sussex Centre for Global Health ResearchG1224WELLCOME TRUST100715/Z/12/Z