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Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 2012 Dec;106(12):749-55. doi: 10.1016/j.trstmh.2012.08.003. Epub 2012 Nov 2.

Wetlands, climate zones and Barmah Forest virus disease in Queensland, Australia.

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School of Public Health, Queensland University of Technology, Kelvin Grove, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.


Barmah Forest virus (BFV) disease is the second most common mosquito-borne disease in Australia, but the linkages of the wetlands and climate zones with BFV transmission remain unclear. We aimed to examine the relationship between the wetlands, climate zones and BFV risk in Queensland, Australia. Data on the wetlands, climate zones, population and BFV cases for the period 1992 to 2008 were obtained from relevant government agencies. BFV risk was grouped as low-, medium- and high-level based on BFV incidence percentiles. The buffer zones around each BFV case were made using 1, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 and 50km distances. We performed a discriminant analysis to determine the differences between wetland classes and BFV risk within each climate zone. The discriminant analyses show that saline 1, riverine and saline tidal influence were the most significant contributors to BFV risk in all climate and buffer zones, while lacustrine, palustrine, estuarine and saline 2 and saline 3 wetlands were less important. These models had classification accuracies of 76%, 98% and 100% for BFV risk in subtropical, tropical and temperate climate zones, respectively. This study demonstrates that BFV risk varies with wetland class and climate zone. The discriminant analysis is a useful tool to quantify the links between wetlands, climate zones and BFV risk.

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