A predictive model of fasciolosis indicates differential risk at high and low altitude.
The liver fluke has always represented a threat to Irish livestock. The life cycle of the parasite relies on the presence of an intermediate host (mud snail) and a final host (cattle or sheep). Both, the parasite and the mud snail depend on two main environmental factors to survive: temperature and moisture. A predictive risk map was developed to study other possible explanatory variables. The final model revealed that risk of infection was lower at higher altitudes. This could be explained by the fact that average temperatures in these regions are lower, inhibiting the development of the parasite and snail host. Here we show an overlay of the risk map over the Irish elevation map.