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Bayesian Classification and Regression Trees for Predicting Incidence of Cryptosporidiosis  [PDF]
Wenbiao Hu, Rebecca A. O'Leary, Kerrie Mengersen, Samantha Low Choy
PLOS ONE , 2011, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0023903
Abstract: Background Classification and regression tree (CART) models are tree-based exploratory data analysis methods which have been shown to be very useful in identifying and estimating complex hierarchical relationships in ecological and medical contexts. In this paper, a Bayesian CART model is described and applied to the problem of modelling the cryptosporidiosis infection in Queensland, Australia. Methodology/Principal Findings We compared the results of a Bayesian CART model with those obtained using a Bayesian spatial conditional autoregressive (CAR) model. Overall, the analyses indicated that the nature and magnitude of the effect estimates were similar for the two methods in this study, but the CART model more easily accommodated higher order interaction effects. Conclusions/Significance A Bayesian CART model for identification and estimation of the spatial distribution of disease risk is useful in monitoring and assessment of infectious diseases prevention and control.
Spatial distribution of suicide in Queensland, Australia
Xin Qi, Shilu Tong, Wenbiao Hu
BMC Psychiatry , 2010, DOI: 10.1186/1471-244x-10-106
Abstract: Data on suicide and demographic variables in each LGA between 1999 and 2003 were acquired from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. An age standardised mortality (ASM) rate for suicide was calculated at the LGA level. GIS techniques were used to examine the geographical difference of suicide across different areas.Far north and north-eastern Queensland (i.e., Cook and Mornington Shires) had the highest suicide incidence in both genders, while the south-western areas (i.e., Barcoo and Bauhinia Shires) had the lowest incidence in both genders. In different age groups (≤24 years, 25 to 44 years, 45 to 64 years, and ≥65 years), ASM rates of suicide varied with gender at the LGA level. Mornington and six other LGAs with low socioeconomic status in the upper Southeast had significant spatial clusters of high suicide risk.There was a notable difference in ASM rates of suicide at the LGA level in Queensland. Some LGAs had significant spatial clusters of high suicide risk. The determinants of the geographical difference of suicide should be addressed in future research.Suicide is a major cause of death around the world with about 877,000 suicide deaths each year globally [1]. The World Health Organization has predicted that the suicide rate will steadily increase into the future [2].In Australia, the trend of suicide has fluctuated over the 20th Century and early 21st Century [3,4]. In recent years, there have been over 2000 suicide cases recorded annually in Australia (ABS 2003, 2004) [4], with males accounting for the majority of these suicides. A number of studies have explored the distribution of suicide in different states in Australia [5-9].Some Australian and international studies have applied spatial analysis to assess the geographical difference in suicide incidence [10-15]. Our previous study analysed the spatiotemporal association between socio-environmental factors (climate, socioeconomic and demographic factors) and suicide in Queensland, Australia [13]. Some ot
Identification of area-level influences on regions of high cancer incidence in Queensland, Australia: a classification tree approach
Susanna M Cramb, Kerrie L Mengersen, Peter D Baade
BMC Cancer , 2011, DOI: 10.1186/1471-2407-11-311
Abstract: Area-specific smoothed standardised incidence ratios were estimated for priority-area cancers across 478 statistical local areas in Queensland, Australia (1998-2007, n = 186,075). For those cancers with significant spatial variation, CART models were used to identify whether area-level accessibility, socioeconomic status and ethnicity were associated with high area-specific incidence.The accessibility of a person's residence had the most consistent association with the risk of cancer diagnosis across the specific cancers. Many cancers were likely to have high incidence in more urban areas, although male lung cancer and cervical cancer tended to have high incidence in more remote areas. The impact of socioeconomic status and ethnicity on these associations differed by type of cancer.These results highlight the complex interactions between accessibility, socioeconomic status and ethnicity in determining cancer incidence risk.Globally, almost 12.7 million people were diagnosed with cancer in 2008 (excluding non-melanoma skin cancers), and 7.6 million people died from cancer [1]. Cancer was the third highest cause of death (following cardiovascular disease and infectious and parasitic diseases) [2].In Australia, cancer was responsible for almost 40,000 deaths and 108,368 diagnoses (again, excluding non-melanoma skin cancer) in 2007 [3]. Cancer was estimated to be the greatest contributor to the burden of disease, causing 19% of the entire disease burden, and half of this was due to lung, colorectal, prostate and breast cancers [3]. Due to its high morbidity and mortality, cancer is an Australian government health priority area, with specific emphasis placed on the National Health Priority Area (NHPA) cancers of colorectal cancer, lung cancer, melanoma, non-melanoma skin cancer, breast cancer, cervical cancer, prostate cancer and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma [4].Government strategies for cancer reduction and management are targeted at both the individual and area levels. Recog
Spatio-Temporal Patterns of Barmah Forest Virus Disease in Queensland, Australia  [PDF]
Suchithra Naish, Wenbiao Hu, Kerrie Mengersen, Shilu Tong
PLOS ONE , 2011, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0025688
Abstract: Background Barmah Forest virus (BFV) disease is a common and wide-spread mosquito-borne disease in Australia. This study investigated the spatio-temporal patterns of BFV disease in Queensland, Australia using geographical information system (GIS) tools and geostatistical analysis. Methods/Principal Findings We calculated the incidence rates and standardised incidence rates of BFV disease. Moran's I statistic was used to assess the spatial autocorrelation of BFV incidences. Spatial dynamics of BFV disease was examined using semi-variogram analysis. Interpolation techniques were applied to visualise and display the spatial distribution of BFV disease in statistical local areas (SLAs) throughout Queensland. Mapping of BFV disease by SLAs reveals the presence of substantial spatio-temporal variation over time. Statistically significant differences in BFV incidence rates were identified among age groups (χ2 = 7587, df = 7327,p<0.01). There was a significant positive spatial autocorrelation of BFV incidence for all four periods, with the Moran's I statistic ranging from 0.1506 to 0.2901 (p<0.01). Semi-variogram analysis and smoothed maps created from interpolation techniques indicate that the pattern of spatial autocorrelation was not homogeneous across the state. Conclusions/Significance This is the first study to examine spatial and temporal variation in the incidence rates of BFV disease across Queensland using GIS and geostatistics. The BFV transmission varied with age and gender, which may be due to exposure rates or behavioural risk factors. There are differences in the spatio-temporal patterns of BFV disease which may be related to local socio-ecological and environmental factors. These research findings may have implications in the BFV disease control and prevention programs in Queensland.
Short note on a Pteranodontoid pterosaur (Pterodactyloidea) from western Queensland, Australia
Kellner, Alexander W.A.;Rodrigues, Taissa;Costa, Fabiana R.;
Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências , 2011, DOI: 10.1590/S0001-37652011000100018
Abstract: flying reptiles from australia are very rare, represented mostly by isolated bones coming from the early cretaceous (albian) toolebuc formation, which crops out in western queensland. among the first pterosaur specimens discovered from this deposit is a mandibular symphysis that some authors thought to have a particular affinity to species found in the cambridge greensand (cenomanian) of england. it was further referred as a member of or closely related to one of the genera ornithocheirus, lonchodectes or anhanguera. here we redescribe this specimen, showing that it cannot be referred to the aforementioned genera, but represents a new species of pteranodontoid (sensu kellner 2003), here named aussiedraco molnari gen. et sp. nov. it is the second named pterosaur from australia and confirms that the toolebuc deposits are so far the most important for our understanding of the flying reptile fauna of this country.
Feral Pig Populations Are Structured at Fine Spatial Scales in Tropical Queensland, Australia  [PDF]
Jobina Lopez, David Hurwood, Bart Dryden, Susan Fuller
PLOS ONE , 2014, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0091657
Abstract: Feral pigs occur throughout tropical far north Queensland, Australia and are a significant threat to biodiversity and World Heritage values, agriculture and are a vector of infectious diseases. One of the constraints on long-lasting, local eradication of feral pigs is the process of reinvasion into recently controlled areas. This study examined the population genetic structure of feral pigs in far north Queensland to identify the extent of movement and the scale at which demographically independent management units exist. Genetic analysis of 328 feral pigs from the Innisfail to Tully region of tropical Queensland was undertaken. Seven microsatellite loci were screened and Bayesian clustering methods used to infer population clusters. Sequence variation at the mitochondrial DNA control region was examined to identify pig breed. Significant population structure was identified in the study area at a scale of 25 to 35 km, corresponding to three demographically independent management units (MUs). Distinct natural or anthropogenic barriers were not found, but environmental features such as topography and land use appear to influence patterns of gene flow. Despite the strong, overall pattern of structure, some feral pigs clearly exhibited ancestry from a MU outside of that from which they were sampled indicating isolated long distance dispersal or translocation events. Furthermore, our results suggest that gene flow is restricted among pigs of domestic Asian and European origin and non-random mating influences management unit boundaries. We conclude that the three MUs identified in this study should be considered as operational units for feral pig control in far north Queensland. Within a MU, coordinated and simultaneous control is required across farms, rainforest areas and National Park Estates to prevent recolonisation from adjacent localities.
Application of Artificial Neural Networks to Rainfall Forecasting in Queensland, Australia

John ABBOT,Jennifer MAROHASY,

大气科学进展 , 2012,
Abstract: In this study, the application of artificial intelligence to monthly and seasonal rainfall forecasting in Queensland, Australia, was assessed by inputting recognized climate indices, monthly historical rainfall data, and atmospheric temperatures into a prototype stand-alone, dynamic, recurrent, time-delay, artificial neural network. Outputs, as monthly rainfall forecasts 3 months in advance for the period 1993 to 2009, were compared with observed rainfall data using time-series plots, root mean squared error (RMSE), and Pearson correlation coefficients. A comparison of RMSE values with forecasts generated by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology's Predictive Ocean Atmosphere Model for Australia (POAMA)-1.5 general circulation model (GCM) indicated that the prototype achieved a lower RMSE for 16 of the 17 sites compared. The application of artificial neural networks to rainfall forecasting was reviewed. The prototype design is considered preliminary, with potential for significant improvement such as inclusion of output from GCMs and experimentation with other input attributes.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, Cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors and paracetamol use in Queensland and in the whole of Australia
Nadia Barozzi, Susan E Tett
BMC Health Services Research , 2008, DOI: 10.1186/1472-6963-8-196
Abstract: Dispensing data were obtained for concession beneficiaries for Australia for ns-NSAIDs, COX-2 inhibitors and paracetamol subsidized by the PBS over the period 1997–2003. The same data were purchased for Queensland. Data were converted to Defined Daily Dose (DDD)/1000 beneficiaries/day (World Health Organization anatomical therapeutic chemical classification, 2005).Total NSAID and paracetamol consumption were similar in Australia and Queensland. Ns-NSAID use decreased sharply with the introduction of COX-2 inhibitors (from approximately 80 to 40 DDD/1000 beneficiaries/day). Paracetamol was constant (approximately 45 DDD/1000 beneficiaries/day). COX-2 inhibitors consumption was initially higher in Queensland than in the whole of Australia.Despite initial divergence in celecoxib use between Queensland and Australia, the use of ns-NSAIDs, COX-2 inhibitors and paracetamol overall, in concession beneficiaries, was comparable in Australia and Queensland.International comparisons of drug use provide benchmarking data and represent a valuable strategy to achieve a better understanding of use of medicines. Cross national drug utilization studies can provide information on differences in the effect of access to drug programs, the effect of formulary policies and the influences on physician prescribing (education interventions, industry and marketing efforts) to explain some of the prescribing variations. Exploration of the similarities and differences in use is a helpful strategy for planning and improving practices in drug approval, regulation, financing, reimbursement, prescribing and use by patients. In the European Union for example, Eurodurg http://www.eurodurg.com webcite, was created to promote the drug utilization research across Europe. In Australia the National Prescribing Service (NPS) has used various techniques to improve drug prescribing and use by patients, including academic detailing, audit and feedback and social marketing. However, little research has been d
Spatial and Temporal Patterns of Locally-Acquired Dengue Transmission in Northern Queensland, Australia, 1993–2012  [PDF]
Suchithra Naish, Pat Dale, John S. Mackenzie, John McBride, Kerrie Mengersen, Shilu Tong
PLOS ONE , 2014, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0092524
Abstract: Background Dengue has been a major public health concern in Australia since it re-emerged in Queensland in 1992–1993. We explored spatio-temporal characteristics of locally-acquired dengue cases in northern tropical Queensland, Australia during the period 1993–2012. Methods Locally-acquired notified cases of dengue were collected for northern tropical Queensland from 1993 to 2012. Descriptive spatial and temporal analyses were conducted using geographic information system tools and geostatistical techniques. Results 2,398 locally-acquired dengue cases were recorded in northern tropical Queensland during the study period. The areas affected by the dengue cases exhibited spatial and temporal variation over the study period. Notified cases of dengue occurred more frequently in autumn. Mapping of dengue by statistical local areas (census units) reveals the presence of substantial spatio-temporal variation over time and place. Statistically significant differences in dengue incidence rates among males and females (with more cases in females) (χ2 = 15.17, d.f. = 1, p<0.01). Differences were observed among age groups, but these were not statistically significant. There was a significant positive spatial autocorrelation of dengue incidence for the four sub-periods, with the Moran's I statistic ranging from 0.011 to 0.463 (p<0.01). Semi-variogram analysis and smoothed maps created from interpolation techniques indicate that the pattern of spatial autocorrelation was not homogeneous across the northern Queensland. Conclusions Tropical areas are potential high-risk areas for mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue. This study demonstrated that the locally-acquired dengue cases have exhibited a spatial and temporal variation over the past twenty years in northern tropical Queensland, Australia. Therefore, this study provides an impetus for further investigation of clusters and risk factors in these high-risk areas.
Analysis of Bordetella pertussis pertactin and pertussis toxin types from Queensland, Australia, 1999–2003
Shane Byrne, Andrew T Slack
BMC Infectious Diseases , 2006, DOI: 10.1186/1471-2334-6-53
Abstract: Forty-six B. pertussis isolates recovered from Queensland patients between 1999 and 2003 were examined by both DNA sequencing and LightCycler? real time PCR to determine their pertactin and pertussis toxin subunit 1 genotypes.Pertactin typing showed that 38 isolates possessed the prn1 allele, 3 possessed the prn2 allele and 5 possessed the prn3 allele. All forty-six isolates possessed the pertussis toxin ptxS1A genotype. Amongst the circulating B. pertussis population in Queensland, 82.5% of the recovered clinical isolates therefore possessed the prn1/ptxS1A genotype.The results of this study compared to historical research on Queensland isolates suggest that B. pertussis pertactin and pertussis toxin variants are not becoming more prevalent in Queensland since the introduction of the acellular vaccines. Current prevalences of pertactin variants are significantly different to that described in a number of other countries with high vaccine coverage. Relative paucity of recovered isolates compared to notified infections, due primarily to non culture based pertussis diagnostics is however a confounding factor in the assessment of variant prevalence.Bordetella pertussis, the etiological agent of 'Whooping Cough' remains prevalent in Australia despite the introduction and wide spread use of pertussis vaccines as part of the childhood immunisation scheme. The Australian standard vaccination schedule for pertussis consists of acellular vaccines given in doses at 2, 4 and 6 months, followed by a fourth dose at 4 years and a booster at 15–17 years of age [1]. Prior to 1999 a local whole cell vaccine was in use beginning in the decade 1936–1945. [2]. An 'Immunise Australia' program established in 1997 has set a target of 90% coverage for pertussis vaccination [2]. In the Australian state of Queensland pertussis vaccine coverage in the 1990s moved from the high 70% to mid 80%, and then rose above the 90% target from 2001 onwards [2-4]. In spite of this high vaccine coverage, i
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