OSR Journal of Student Research


Alexa Reyes


Background: Infectious diseases have not seized to exist for it has been found that microorganisms like Clostridium defficile and Escherichia coli bacteria are capable of mutating. As a result, antibiotic resistant novel strains, such Clostridium difficile (C.diff) that cause devastating new disease continue to pose a problem. An early detection tool for such emergent strains and the evaluation of the most highly impacted geographic locations is critical to mitigate the burden of such condition. Much of the literature, however, has shown that while archived data has little predictive nature as well as limited geographic analysis capabilities. On the other hand, novel analytic tools, such as Google Trends, can provide insight into a potential outbreak and provide geographic disparities of illnesses relying on search volume. The purpose of this paper was to use Google Trends to evaluate its potential analytical ability for two infectious disease causing agent: C.diff and E.coli. Methods: Keywords C. diff and E.coli were used to evaluate search volume using Google Trend analysis. Regions of interest, Unites States and Europe, were systematically evaluated. Results: Results showed that in the United States eastern and southern geographic locations, such as Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Massachusetts had a higher search volume for both keywords, when compared to the entire country. Interestingly, these states also report the highest rate of E.coli and C.diff infected patients per year. Countries like Canada, and the United Kingdom also demonstrated a high search volume when compared to China or Russia, further reflecting current trends in such infection. Conclusion: Similar to the literature noting the predictive power of Google Trends related to Flu and Lyme disease, the results of this study, demonstrate a potential relationship between search volume for such bacterial diseases and associated incidences across several countries.