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In JMIR medical informatics ; h5-index 23.0

BACKGROUND : Foodborne diseases, as a type of disease with a high global incidence, place a heavy burden on public health and social economy. Foodborne pathogens, as the main factor of foodborne diseases, play an important role in the treatment and prevention of foodborne diseases; however, foodborne diseases caused by different pathogens lack specificity in clinical features, and there is a low proportion of clinically actual pathogen detection in real life.

OBJECTIVE : We aimed to analyze foodborne disease case data, select appropriate features based on analysis results, and use machine learning methods to classify foodborne disease pathogens to predict foodborne disease pathogens that have not been tested.

METHODS : We extracted features such as space, time, and exposed food from foodborne disease case data and analyzed the relationship between these features and the foodborne disease pathogens using a variety of machine learning methods to classify foodborne disease pathogens. We compared the results of 4 models to obtain the pathogen prediction model with the highest accuracy.

RESULTS : The gradient boost decision tree model obtained the highest accuracy, with accuracy approaching 69% in identifying 4 pathogens including Salmonella, Norovirus, Escherichia coli, and Vibrio parahaemolyticus. By evaluating the importance of features such as time of illness, geographical longitude and latitude, and diarrhea frequency, we found that they play important roles in classifying the foodborne disease pathogens.

CONCLUSIONS : Data analysis can reflect the distribution of some features of foodborne diseases and the relationship among the features. The classification of pathogens based on the analysis results and machine learning methods can provide beneficial support for clinical auxiliary diagnosis and treatment of foodborne diseases.

Wang Hanxue, Cui Wenjuan, Guo Yunchang, Du Yi, Zhou Yuanchun

2021-Jan-26

foodborne disease, machine learning, pathogens prediction