Senior research officer
PhD (Molecular Parasitology), Swiss Tropical Institute, University of Basel, 2005; Master of Science (Biostatistics), University of Sydney (Biostatistics Collaboration of Australia ), 2015; Master of Science (Molecular Microbiology), University of Basel, Switzerland, 2000
Approved level of HDR supervision at Charles Darwin University:
Associate Supervisor for PhD
Mirjam’s research focuses on the impact of anthropogenic manipulations such as earthworks, gardening, animal husbandry or water bores upon the habitat of the melioidosis agent, Burkholderia pseudomallei, in the environment of Northern Australia.
Her recent research has shown that B. pseudomallei colonises roots and aerial parts of exotic grasses introduced to Australia as pasture grass. These grasses are currently spreading as weeds across the Top End with the potential to increase the spread of B. pseudomallei.
Mirjam completed her PhD in malaria research at the University of Basel, Switzerland and the Institute of Medical Research, Papua New Guinea analysing the differential expression of a Plasmodium falciparum virulence factor in children with asymptomatic and severe malaria.
- The melioidosis agent Burkholderia pseudomallei in the anthropogenic environment of northern
- Linking genomics of Burkholderia pseudomallei to melioidosis: diversity of clinical manifestations, changing epidemiology and microevolution in chronic carriage
- Burkholderia pseudomallei in Australia: A perspective of distribution and source attribution
- The occurrence of the melioidosis agent Burkholderia pseudomallei in scats from captive and wild animals in the Darwin region.
- Mapping the distribution of Burkholderia pseudomallei in the Top End of Australia using GIS.
- Kaestli, M., O’Donnell, M., Rose, A., Webb, JR., Mayo, M., Currie, BJ., & Gibb, K. (2019). Opportunistic pathogens and large microbial diversity detected in source-to-distribution drinking water of three remote communities in Northern Australia. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases,
- Duvert, C., Priadi, CR., Rose, AM., Abdillah, A., Marthanty, DR, Gibb, K., & Kaestli, M. (2019). Sources and drivers of contamination along an urban tropical river (Ciliwung, Indonesia): Insights from microbial DNA, isotopes and water chemistry. Science of the Total Environment. 682, 382-393
- Kaestli, M., Munksgaard, N., Gibb, K., Davis, J., (2019). Microbial diversity and distribution differ between water column and biofilm assemblages in arid-land waterbodies. Freshwater Science
- Kaestli, M., Grist, E.P., Ward, L., Hill, A., Mayo, M., & Currie, B.J. (2016). The association of melioidosis with climatic factors in Darwin, Australia: A 23-year time-series analysis. Journal of Infection. 10.1016/j.jinf.2016.02.015.
- Kaestli, M., Harrington, G., Mayo, M., Chatfield, M. D., Harrington, I., Hill, A., et al. (2015). What Drives the Occurrence of the Melioidosis Bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei in Domestic Gardens. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 9(3), e0003635-e0003635.
- Kaestli, M., Schmid, M., Mayo, M., Rothballer, M., Harrington, G., Richardson, L., et al. (2012). Out of the ground: aerial and exotic habitats of the melioidosis bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei in grasses in Australia. Environmental Microbiology, 14(8), 2058-2070.
- Kaestli, M., & Warner, J. (2012). The influence of anthropogenic environmental changes upon Burkholderia pseudomallei. In N. Ketheesan (Ed.), Melioidosis: A century of observation and research chapter, (pp.371-376). Amsterdam: Elsevier.
- Draper, A.D.K., Mayo, M., Harrington, G., Yinfoo, D., Currie, B., & Kaestli, M. (2010). Association of the melioidosis agent Burkholderia pseudomallei with water parameters in rural water supplies in northern Australia. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 76(15), 5305-5307.
- Kaestli, M., Mayo, M., Harrington, G., Ward, L., Watt, F., Hill, J.V., et al. (2009). Landscape changes influence the occurrence of the melioidosis bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei in soil in northern Australia. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 3(1), e364.
- Kaestli, M., Mayo, M., Harrington, G., Ward, F., Hill, J., Gal, D., et al. (2007). Sensitive and specific molecular detection of Burkholderia pseudomallei, the causative agent of melioidosis, in the soil of tropical northern Australia. Applied and Environmental
Click here to view more Mirjam Kaestli publications in PubMed.
Life in northern Australia is full of spectacular surprises and natural hazards, some more obvious than others.
The bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei is found in soil and water and causes the disease melioidosis in humans and animals. It was upgraded to a Tier 1 Select Agent by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2012 — the designation given to pathogens considered of highest risk.
In the new work, Mirjam Kaestli of Charles Darwin University, Australia and colleagues including Menzies School of Health Research sampled water and biofilms from three remote Indigenous communities in Australia’s Northern Territory.
CDU Research Fellow Mirjam Kaestli and colleagues including Menzies School of Health Research sampled water and biofilms from three remote Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory.