Journal article

High burden of infectious disease and antibiotic use in early life in Australian Aboriginal communities

Will Cuningham, Jodie McVernon, Michael J Lydeamore, Ross M Andrews, Jonathan Carapetis, Therese Kearns, Danielle Clucas, Roslyn Gundjirryirr Dhurrkay, Steven YC Tong, Patricia T Campbell



OBJECTIVE: To quantify the childhood infectious disease burden and antibiotic use in the Northern Territory's East Arnhem region through synthesis and analysis of historical data resources. METHODS: We combined primary health clinic data originally reported in three separate publications stemming from the East Arnhem Healthy Skin Project (Jan-01 to Sep-07). Common statistical techniques were used to explore the prevalence of infectious conditions and the seasonality of infections, and to measure rates of antibiotic use. RESULTS: There was a high monthly prevalence of respiratory (mean: 32% [95% confidence interval (CI): 20%, 34%]) and skin (mean: 20% [95%CI: 19%, 22%]) infectious syndromes, ..

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Awarded by National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)

Awarded by NHMRC Principal Research Fellowship

Awarded by Medical Research Future Fund Next Generation Clinical Researchers NHMRC Career Development Fellowship

Funding Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the Menzies School of Health Research for providing the data from the EAHSP, related Menzies project staff, staff at the primary health care centres and the members of the five remote Indigenous communities for their participation. We acknowledge our partners in this work: Northern Territory Remote Health, Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance Northern Territory, Northern Territory Centre for Disease Control, One Disease, Miwatj Health and the NHMRC-funded HOT NORTH initiative. We acknowledge the Lowitja Institute and the Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal Health who originally funded and lent significant support to the EAHSP. We also thank Professor Bart Currie and Dr Erin McMeniman for their work on the original data collection and for their helpful comments. This work is supported by a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Project Grant (GNT 1098319). JMcV is supported by an NHMRC Principal Research Fellowship (GNT 1117140). SYCT is supported by a Medical Research Future Fund Next Generation Clinical Researchers NHMRC Career Development Fellowship (GNT 1145033). MJL is supported by an Australian Postgraduate Research Training Program Scholarship.