Melioidosis in the Torres Strait Islands, Australia: exquisite interplay between pathogen, host, and environment

Hempenstall, Allison J., Smith, Simon, Stanton, David, and Hanson, Josh (2019) Melioidosis in the Torres Strait Islands, Australia: exquisite interplay between pathogen, host, and environment. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 100 (3). pp. 517-521.

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Burkholderia pseudomallei, a bacterium that lives in the soil of the tropics, causes the disease melioidosis. This retrospective study investigated the temporospatial epidemiology of the 49 laboratory-confirmed melioidosis cases in the Torres Straits Islands of tropical Australia between 1997 and 2017. An identifiable risk factor for the disease was present in 43/49 (88%) cases and in 35/36 (97%) cases with complete clinical data. The mean incidence of melioidosis varied across the region, from 0/100,000 persons/year in the Eastern Island Cluster to 116.1/100,000 persons/year in the Near Western Island Cluster. An environmental suitability score for the growth of B. pseudomallei-constructed using the rainfall, vegetation, and soil type on each island-correlated with disease incidence (Spearman's rho 0.51; P = 0.035). Melioidosis is an opportunistic disease that occurs in patients with specific risk factors, but its incidence is also strongly influenced by environmental factors that favor the growth of the causative organism.

Item ID: 57735
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1476-1645
Copyright Information: © 2019 by The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. This article is freely available via the publisher's website.
Date Deposited: 27 Mar 2019 07:36
FoR Codes: 45 INDIGENOUS STUDIES > 4504 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing > 450417 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander public health and wellbeing @ 35%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3107 Microbiology > 310701 Bacteriology @ 35%
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4202 Epidemiology > 420299 Epidemiology not elsewhere classified @ 30%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920109 Infectious Diseases @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9203 Indigenous Health > 920301 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health - Determinants of Health @ 50%
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