• To determine whether the faecal bacterial shedding of wildlife and livestock or domestic animals contributes significantly to the distribution of Burkholderia pseudomallei in the Darwin region. 

Burkholderia pseudomallei is known to infect a wide array of animals in Australia, with disease manifestations ranging from fatal to asymptomatic. Previous studies have indicated that the faeces of both wildlife and livestock or domestic animals may play a role in the geographic spread of B. pseudomallei.

The analysis of faecal samples from the wild, as well as samples from animals brought in to the University Avenue Animal Hospital in Palmerston, may shed light on the degree of animal infection, bacterial shedding and geographic distribution of B. pseudomallei in the Darwin area.

Implications for policy and practice:

Investigations into the role of animals as distributors of B. pseudomallei may help to determine the conditions along the human-livestock-wildlife interface, which result in a high risk of transmission, both to animals and the growing population of the Darwin region.

The ability of B. pseudomallei to ‘reactivate’ in the form of acute and severe disease has implications that extend beyond Australia’s borders, with the possible establishment of environmental contamination overseas through wildlife trade and livestock export. 

Chief investigators:
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Project dates:

The project commenced on 1 March 2014 and will conclude on 30 November 2014.

Information for study participants/ get involved with this project: 

Owners/carers of animals (domestic, livestock, wildlife) with current or previous suspected melioidosis who would like to participate please contact Alison Russell.