Is There an Association between Dryland Salinity and Ross River Virus Disease in Southwestern Australia?

A. Jardine, M.D.A. Lindsay, Cheryl Johansen, Peter Speldewinde, Angus Cook, Philip Weinstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Land use change has the potential to cause severe ecosystem degradation and drive changes in disease transmission and emergence. Broadscale clearing of native vegetation for agriculture in southwestern Australia has resulted in severe ecosystem degradation, which has been compounded by the subsequent development of large areas of dryland salinity. The mosquito-borne disease, Ross River virus (RRV), has been noted as a potential adverse human health outcome in these salinity affected regions. The association between dryland salinity and RRV disease was therefore tested by undertaking a spatial analysis of disease notification records using standard and Bayesian techniques. To overcome inherent limitations with notification data, serological RRV antibody prevalence was also investigated. Neither method revealed a significant association with dryland salinity, however, the spatial scale imposed limited the sensitivity of both studies. Thus, further multidisciplinary studies are required to overcome these limitations and advance understanding of this ecosystem health issue, particularly using variables that can be investigated on a finer scale.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-68
JournalEcohealth
Volume5(1)
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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