Identification of terms for detecting early signals of emerging infectious disease outbreaks on the web

Arsevska Elena, Roche Mathieu, Hendrikx Pascal, Chavernac David, Falala Sylvain, Lancelot Renaud, Dufour Barbara. 2016. Identification of terms for detecting early signals of emerging infectious disease outbreaks on the web. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture, 123 : pp. 104-115.

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Abstract : Timeliness and precision for detection of infectious animal disease outbreaks from the information published on the web is crucial for prevention against their spread. The work in this paper is part of the methodology for monitoring the web that we currently develop for the French epidemic intelligence team in animal health. We focus on the new and exotic infectious animal diseases that occur worldwide and that are of potential threat to the animal health in France. In order to detect relevant information on the web, we present an innovative approach that retrieves documents using queries based on terms automatically extracted from a corpus of relevant documents and validated with a consensus of domain experts (Delphi method). As a decision support tool to domain experts we introduce a new measure for ranking of extracted terms in order to highlight the more relevant terms. To categorise documents retrieved from the web we use Naïve Bayes (NB) and Support Vector Machine (SVM) classifiers. We evaluated our approach on documents on African swine fever (ASF) outbreaks for the period from 2011 to 2014, retrieved from the Google search engine and the PubMed database. From 2400 terms extracted from two corpora of relevant ASF documents, 135 terms were relevant to characterise ASF emergence. The domain experts identified as highly specific to characterise ASF emergence the terms which describe mortality, fever and haemorrhagic clinical signs in Suidae. The new ranking measure correctly ranked the ASF relevant terms until position 161 and fairly until position 227, with areas under ROC curves (AUCs) of 0.802 and 0.709 respectively. Both classifiers were accurate to classify a set of 545 ASF documents (NB of 0.747 and SVM of 0.725) into appropriate categories of relevant (disease outbreak) and irrelevant (economic and general) documents. Our results show that relevant documents can serve as a source of terms to detect infectious animal disease emergence on the web. Our method is generic and can be used both in animal and public health domain.

Mots-clés Agrovoc : Surveillance épidémiologique, Maladie infectieuse, Maladie des animaux, système d'aide à la décision, Science de l'information, surveillance, Informatique, Technique analytique, Terminologie, Classification (information), Internet, Étude de cas, Peste porcine africaine, Analyse de données

Mots-clés géographiques Agrovoc : France, Monde

Mots-clés complémentaires : Émergence

Mots-clés libres : Web, Disease outbreak, Text mining, Term extraction, Delphi method

Classification Agris : L73 - Animal diseases
C30 - Documentation and information
U30 - Research methods

Champ stratégique Cirad : Axe 4 (2014-2018) - Santé des animaux et des plantes

Auteurs et affiliations

  • Arsevska Elena, CIRAD-BIOS-UMR CMAEE (FRA)
  • Roche Mathieu, CIRAD-ES-UMR TETIS (FRA) ORCID: 0000-0003-3272-8568
  • Hendrikx Pascal, ANSES (FRA)
  • Chavernac David, CIRAD-BIOS-UMR CMAEE (FRA)
  • Falala Sylvain, INRA (FRA)
  • Lancelot Renaud, CIRAD-BIOS-UMR CMAEE (FRA)
  • Dufour Barbara, ENVA (FRA)

Source : Cirad-Agritrop (

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