Melioidosis case clusters in a tropical urban setting: association with soil type and geomorphology

Corkeron, Maree, Loehr, Stefan, Norton, Robert, and Nelson, Paul (2010) Melioidosis case clusters in a tropical urban setting: association with soil type and geomorphology. In: Proceedings of the 19th World Congress of Soil Science, pp. 15-18. From: 19th World Congress of Soil Science, 1-6 August 2010, Brisbane, QLD, Australia.

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Abstract

Geospatial analysis of the distribution of clinical cases of melioidosis, an often fatal tropical disease, in the Townsville region indicated case clustering in distinct geomorphic settings and characteristic soil associations. Two significant clusters were identified. Cluster 1 is associated with piedmont slopes adjacent to granitic hill and mountain slopes. The soils developed on colluvium are typically Kandosols with dark grey-brown loamy sand to silty loam A horizon, grading into dark red or yellow sandy clay loam to sandy clay subsoils. Cluster 2 is associated with Pleistocene floodplains, levees and channel-fill. The duplex soils typically grade from acidic to alkaline at depth. These soils are poorly draining due to a shallow impermeable B horizon in Sodosols. It is postulated that the two geomorphic positions and soil types are predisposed to soil wetness following periods of intense rainfall. Cluster 1 is located where large amounts of runoff are received from the adjacent granitic hill, whereas Cluster 2 associates with poorly drained soils at the lower edges of poorly drained alluvial plains. This preliminary study has generated the hypothesis that melioidosis distribution in the Townsville region is controlled by environmental factors, specifically soil type, geomorphic position and drainage. A detailed multidisciplinary field-based study investigating soil physico-chemical features, field isolates of Burkholderia pseudomallei, and epidemiological considerations is now underway to test this hypothesis.

Item ID: 11750
Item Type: Conference Item (Refereed Research Paper - E1)
Keywords: melioidosis; soil type; GIS; disease cluster; environment
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ISBN: 978-0-646-53783-2
Date Deposited: 24 Aug 2010 23:35
FoR Codes: 04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0406 Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience > 040607 Surface Processes @ 50%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1108 Medical Microbiology > 110801 Medical Bacteriology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920199 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) not elsewhere classified @ 30%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920404 Disease Distribution and Transmission (incl. Surveillance and Response) @ 40%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9614 Soils > 961407 Urban and Industrial Soils @ 30%
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