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Goroka, Papua New Guinea

Baker A.,James Cook University | Tahani D.,James Cook University | Gardiner C.,James Cook University | Bristow K.L.,CSIRO | And 3 more authors.
Applied and Environmental Microbiology | Year: 2011

Burkholderia pseudomallei is a saprophytic bacterium which is the causative agent of melioidosis, a common cause of fatal bacterial pneumonia and sepsis in the tropics. The incidence of melioidosis is clustered spatially and temporally and is heavily linked to rainfall and extreme weather events. Clinical case clustering has recently been reported in Townsville, Australia, and has implicated Castle Hill, a granite monolith in the city center, as a potential reservoir of infection. Topsoil and water from seasonal groundwater seeps were collected around the base of Castle Hill and analyzed by quantitative real-time PCR targeting the type III secretion system genes for the presence of B. pseudomallei. The organism was identified in 65% (95% confidence interval [CI], 49.5 to 80.4) of soil samples (n =40) and 92.5% (95% CI, 83.9 to 100) of seasonal groundwater samples (n =40). Further sampling of water collected from roads and gutters in nearby residential areas after an intense rainfall event found that 88.2% (95% CI, 72.9 to 100) of samples (n =16) contained viable B. pseudomallei at concentrations up to 113 CFU/ml. Comparison of isolates using multilocus sequence typing demonstrated clinical matches and close associations between environmental isolates and isolates derived from clinical samples from patients in Townsville. This study demonstrated that waterborne B. pseudomallei from groundwater seeps around Castle Hill may facilitate exposure to B. pseudomallei and contribute to the clinical clustering at this site. Access to this type of information will advise the development and implementation of public health measures to reduce the incidence of melioidosis. © 2011, American Society for Microbiology. Source


Barry A.E.,Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research | Barry A.E.,University of Melbourne | Waltmann A.,Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research | Waltmann A.,University of Melbourne | And 8 more authors.
Pathogens and Global Health | Year: 2015

Population genetic analysis ofmalaria parasites has the power to reveal key insights into malaria epidemiology and transmission dynamics with the potential to deliver tools to support control and elimination efforts. Analyses of parasite genetic diversity have suggested that Plasmodium vivax populations are more genetically diverse and less structured than those ofPlasmodiumfalciparumindicating thatP. vivaxmay be amore ancientparasite ofhumans and/or less susceptibletopopulationbottlenecks, aswell asmoreefficient atdisseminatingitsgenes. These population genetic insights into P. vivax transmission dynamics provide an explanation for its relative resilience to control efforts. Here, we describe current knowledge on P. vivax population genetic structure, its relevance to understanding transmission patterns and relapse and how this information can inform malaria control and elimination programmes. © W. S. Maney & Son Ltd 2015. Source


Mitja O.,Lihir Medical Center | Mitja O.,University of Barcelona | Paru R.,Lihir Medical Center | Selve B.,Newcrest Mining Ltd | And 4 more authors.
Malaria Journal | Year: 2013

Background: Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum malaria remain highly endemic in the Pacific Islands including Lihir Island, Papua New Guinea. Lihir Gold Limited is conducting mining activities and funded an integrated vector control intervention within the villages surrounding the mine. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of such programme by comparing the epidemiological trends of malaria in different parts of the island. Methods. Two cross-sectional surveys were conducted before and after the intervention (2006-2010) to determine malaria prevalence in mine-impact (MI) and non-MI areas. Incidence of malaria was estimated for the Lihir Medical Centre catchment area using island population denominators and a health-centre passive case detection ongoing from 2006-2011. Results: A total of 2,264 and 1,653 children < 15 were surveyed in the cross-sectional studies. The prevalence of any malaria parasitaemia initially was 31.5% in MI areas and, 34.9% in non-MI (POR 1.17; 95 CI 0.97 - 1.39). After four years there was a significant reduction in prevalence in the MI areas (5.8%; POR 0.13, 95 CI 0.09-0.20), but reduction was less marked in non-MI areas (26.9%; POR 0.69, 95 CI 0.58-0.81).28,747 patients were included in the evaluation of incidence trends and overall malaria in local Lihirian population in MI areas declined over time, while it remained at similar high levels among migrants. The age-incidence analysis showed that for each higher age range the malaria incidence declines compared to that of the previous stratum. Conclusions: There was a substantial reduction in prevalence and incidence rates of both P. vivax and P. falciparum in the mining area following implementation of a malaria control intervention, which was not seen in the area outside the mining activities. © 2013 Mitjà et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source


Koepfli C.,Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute | Koepfli C.,University of Basel | Koepfli C.,Walter and Eliza Hall Institute | Timinao L.,Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute | And 10 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Introduction:The importance of Plasmodium vivax in malaria elimination is increasingly being recognized, yet little is known about its population size and population genetic structure in the South Pacific, an area that is the focus of intensified malaria control.Methods:We have genotyped 13 microsatellite markers in 295 P. vivax isolates from four geographically distinct sites in Papua New Guinea (PNG) and one site from Solomon Islands, representing different transmission intensities.Results:Diversity was very high with expected heterozygosity values ranging from 0.62 to 0.98 for the different markers. Effective population size was high (12′872 to 19′533 per site). In PNG population structuring was limited with moderate levels of genetic differentiation. FST values (adjusted for high diversity of markers) were 0.14-0.15. Slightly higher levels were observed between PNG populations and Solomon Islands (FST = 0.16).Conclusions:Low levels of population structure despite geographical barriers to transmission are in sharp contrast to results from regions of low P. vivax endemicity. Prior to intensification of malaria control programs in the study area, parasite diversity and effective population size remained high. © 2013 Koepfli et al. Source


Koepfli C.,Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute | Koepfli C.,University of Basel | Ross A.,Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute | Ross A.,University of Basel | And 10 more authors.
PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases | Year: 2011

Plasmodium vivax is highly endemic in the lowlands of Papua New Guinea and accounts for a large proportion of the malaria cases in children less than 5 years of age. We collected 2117 blood samples at 2-monthly intervals from a cohort of 268 children aged 1 to 4.5 years and estimated the diversity and multiplicity of P. vivax infection. All P. vivax clones were genotyped using the merozoite surface protein 1 F3 fragment (msp1F3) and the microsatellite MS16 as molecular markers. High diversity was observed with msp1F3 (HE = 88.1%) and MS16 (HE = 97.8%). Of the 1162 P. vivax positive samples, 74% harbored multi-clone infections with a mean multiplicity of 2.7 (IQR = 1-3). The multiplicity of P. vivax infection increased slightly with age (P = 0.02), with the strongest increase in very young children. Intensified efforts to control malaria can benefit from knowledge of the diversity and MOI both for assessing the endemic situation and monitoring the effects of interventions. © 2011 Koepfli et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Source

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