Rita M. Zorzenon dos Santos, Ana Amador, Wayner V. de Souza, Maria Fatima P. M. de Albuquerque, Silvina Ponce Dawson, Antonio Ruffino-Netto, Carlos R. Zárate-Bladés, Celio L. Silva
Background: Detailed analysis of the dynamic interactions among biological, environmental, social, and economic factors that favour the spread of certain diseases is extremely useful for designing effective control strategies. Diseases like tuberculosis that kills somebody every 15 seconds in the world, require methods that take into account the disease dynamics to design truly efficient control and surveillance strategies. The usual and well established statistical approaches provide insights into the cause-effect relationships that favour disease transmission but they only estimate risk areas, spatial or temporal trends. Here we introduce a novel approach that allows figuring out the dynamical behaviour of the disease spreading. This information can subsequently be used to validate mathematical models of the dissemination process from which the underlying mechanisms that are responsible for this spreading could be inferred.