student profile: Miss Kelly Simpson


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Thesis work

Thesis title: Molecular Epidemiology, Serovar Prevalence and Spatiotemporal Cluster Analysis of Salmonella Isolates in Australia: A One Health Approach to Zoonotic Disease Surveillance

Supervisors: Siobhan MOR , Michael WARD

Thesis abstract:

Notifications for salmonellosis continue to increase each year with 2015 recording the highest ever incidence since the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NNDSS) was established in 1990. Outbreak investigations of salmonellosis often end with an implicated food source, but rarely continue back to the farm to consider the animal as a source. Additionally a number of non-foodborne outbreaks have been linked to certain wildlife species including bandicoots and lizards.
In Australia, research into animal Salmonella serotypes and prevalence is limited. There is a disconnect between the methods used in livestock and human diagnostic laboratories making comparison of isolates challenging.
This project aims to initially compare existing data from human, livestock and wildlife sources to generate spatial and temporal evidence of risk factors for salmonellosis. Information generated from this initial study will be used to inform prospective sampling of key animal species using advanced molecular techniques routinely applied in human diagnostics. This can then filter in to more targeted control programs with the aim of reducing the increasing incidence of salmonellosis in humans. 

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