SpatioTemporal Epidemiology of Primary Waterborne Infections – cryptoSporidium and vtEc

Project AttributeProject Details
Project TitleSpatioTemporal Epidemiology of Primary Waterborne Infections – cryptoSporidium and vtEc
EPA Project Code2018-W-MS-33
Lead OrganisationTechnological University Dublin (TU Dublin)
CoordinatorPaul Hynds
EPA Research 2014 – 2020 Theme(s)Water: Theme 1: Safe Water
EPA Research Pillars
Project Start and End DatesStart: 29/03/2019
End (if applicable): 28/03/2021
Revised End Date (if applicable): 28/12/2021
EPA Project TypeMedium Scale Project
EPA Award TypeSTRIVE – Project Based Awards
Current Project StatusGrant Awarded
Total Funding Amount206685.81
Project Abstract/DescriptionThe STEP_WISE project will use “gold-standard” laboratory-confirmed VTEC and cryptosporidiosis surveillance data over a 10-year period, totaling approximately 10,000 cases, to elucidate the presence, survival and transport of waterborne pathogens in the Republic of Ireland. Geospatial referencing approaches will be used to link cases of infection with myriad “driver datasets” including antecedent meteorology, climate events (e.g. flooding), hydro(geo)logical setting, landuse, hazard (e.g. public and private wastewater treatment, agriculture), and existing monitoring programme data (e.g. EPA) at an extremely fine (CSO Small Area, n >18,000) geographical resolution. Geostatistical analyses will subsequently be employed to develop multivariate models comprising all source, pathway and receptor datasets, with models validated via independent data (2018/19). Validated models will be integrated and used to create “HotSpot” infection risk maps for the Republic of Ireland, which will visually delineate locales and regions based upon the probability of future waterborne infections based upon both spatially- (e.g. hydro(geo)logical setting) and temporally-distinct (e.g. local meteorology, flood risk) characteristics. Finally, scenario analyses will be undertaken using simulation modelling, which will effectively test the effects of shifting climate and landuse patterns on the risk of waterborne infection among the Irish population. STEP_WISE comprises several trans-disciplinary outputs of direct relevance to the (inter)national research community, policymakers and project stakeholders including the general public. Comprised work will directly lead to ≥4 high-impact journal papers (e.g. Environmental Pollution, Water Research, Environmental Health Perspectives), and numerous national and international conference presentations. A detailed literature review, 2-page dissemination report and final project report will be delivered to the EPA for communication via publication. A non-technical summary report will be compiled and released to the general public via social media and the project website, in concurrence with a specific policy report, to be debuted at two post-project workshops. Infection risk “HotSpot” maps will be made freely available to project stakeholders and the general public as a primary project output. STEP_WISE will significantly assist research capacity building through development of an entirely unique, geo-referenced Hazard-Pathway-Receptor database, which will be fully updatable, and available as a foundational tool for future environmental health studies in Ireland (e.g. cancers, norovirus, Campylobacter).
EPA Scientific OfficerRachelClarke

Leave a Reply