The aim of this study was to assess the change of seasonal pattern of Japanese encephalitis (JE) cases in the post-vaccination period and to elucidate whether the lagged climate variables (precipitation and temperature) were associated with occurrence of JE after adjustment for seasonal pattern, time trend, geographic areas, pig density, vaccination coverage rate for humans, and time dependence of time-series numbers of JE cases. A total of 287 confirmed JE cases between 1991 and 2005 were collected, together with monthly data on socio-ecological archival data including climate, pig density and vaccination. A time-series generalized autoregressive Poisson regression model was used to achieve the objectives. The rate of JE increased from 1998 onwards. The seasonal pattern on occurrence of JE cases clustered between May and August during the period from 1991 to 2005 in Taiwan. In each geographic area, monitoring temperature and precipitation, two possible proxy variables for mosquito density, in conjunction with seasonal factors and pig density is of assistance in forecasting JE epidemics.
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