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Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2015)

Australian Burden of Disease Study: fatal burden of disease in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 2010.

Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

This report presents estimates of fatal burden for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians for 2010 produced as part of the Indigenous component of the Australian burden of disease study.

Fatal burden is measured in years of life lost, which is the sum of the number of years of life lost due to premature death from disease and injury. Fatal burden estimates presented in this report are described for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population for broad disease groups, by age and sex. Estimates of the 'gap' in fatal burden between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians are also reported, together with selected sub-national estimates (selected states and territories, remoteness and socioeconomic disadvantage).

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare will release a more comprehensive report on the burden of disease for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in 2016. It will update and extend this report with 2011 estimates of fatal and non-fatal burden for more specific causes, as well as the burden attributable to selected risk factors.

Abstract adapted from Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

Beatson C (2015)

A collaborative public health response to cases of acute post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis around Tennant Creek, 23-25 July 2014.

Northern Territory Disease Control Bulletin; 22(1): 6-11

Boyd R, Patel M, Currie BJ, Holt DC, Harris T, Krause V (2015)

High burden of invasive group A streptococcal disease in the Northern Territory of Australia.

Epidemiology and Infection; Firstview(

Burns J, Burrow S, Drew N, Elwell M, Gray C, Harford-Mills M, Hoareau J, Lynch R, MacRae A, O’Hara T, Potter C, Ride K, Trzesinski A (2015)

Overview of Australian Indigenous health status, 2014.

Perth, WA: Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet

This report provides recent information on:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations
  • the context of Indigenous health
  • various measures of population health status
  • selected health conditions
  • health risk and protective factors.

This Overview draws on statistics and other published and unpublished materials to provide up-to-date, detailed information about the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in 2014. It highlights a number of improvements in certain aspects of Indigenous health, but underlines that ongoing work is needed to 'close the gap' in health status between Indigenous and other Australians.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

Gear RJ, Carter JC, Carapetis JR, Baird R, Davis JS (2015)

Changes in the clinical and epidemiological features of group A streptococcal bacteraemia in Australia's Northern Territory.

Tropical Medicine & International Health; 20(1): 40–47

Hardie K, Krause V (2015)

Increased numbers and clustering of acute rheumatic fever in an Aboriginal community: spike in endemic disease or true outbreak?.

Northern Territory Disease Control Bulletin; 22(2): 20

Hildebrand F, Pretty H, Saroukos C, Thompson S, Ganambarr R, Maymuru B, Bray M, Gunasekara D, Wills A, Prince S (2015)

One Disease update: tackling scabies and crusted scabies across the Top End.

Northern Territory Disease Control Bulletin; 22(3): 15-17

Kearns TM, Speare R, Cheng AC, McCarthy J, Carapetis JR, Holt DC, Currie BJ, Page W, Shield J, Gundjirryirr R, Bundhala L, Mulholland E, Chatfield M, Andrews RM (2015)

Impact of an ivermectin mass drug administration on scabies prevalence in a remote Australian Aboriginal community.

PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases; 9(10): e0004151

Retrieved 30 October 2015 from

Khuffash R, Brady S (2015)

Identifying rheumatic heart disease patients requiring secondary prophylaxis in the hospital setting.

Northern Territory Disease Control Bulletin; 22(2): 14-19

Packer J, Naz T, Harrington D, Jamie JF, Vemulpad SR, Yaegl Community Elders (2015)

Antimicrobial activity of customary medicinal plants of the Yaegl Aboriginal community of northern New South Wales, Australia: a preliminary study.

BMC Research Notes; 8: 276

Retrieved 30 June 2015 from

Romani L, Steer AC, Whitfeld MJ, Kaldor JM (2015)

Prevalence of scabies and impetigo worldwide: a systematic review.

The Lancet Infectious Diseases; 15(8): 960-967

Tasani M, Tong SY, Andrews RM, Holt DC, Currie BJ, Carapetis JR, Bowen AC (2015)

The importance of scabies co-infection in the treatment considerations for impetigo.

Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal; Published ahead of print(

Thomas J, Peterson GM, Walton SF, Carson CF, Naunton M, Baby KE (2015)

Scabies: an ancient global disease with a need for new therapies.

BMC Infectious Diseases; 15: 250

Retrieved 1 July 2015 from

Thomas K (2015)

Lessons learnt from capacity building community projects in remote Central Australia.

Paper presented at the 13th National Rural Health Conference. 24-27 May 2015, Darwin

Tong SY, Varrone L, Chatfield MD, Beaman M, Giffard PM (2015)

Progressive increase in community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in Indigenous populations in northern Australia from 1993 to 2012.

Epidemiology and Infection; 143(7): 1519-1523

Turow A, Palapitige B, Kim SW, Jaarsma RL, Bramwell D, Krishnan J (2015)

Hand infection patients presenting to an orthopaedic unit: an audit of incidence and demographics at a rural hospital.

Australian Journal of Rural Health; Early view(


Dog scabies can make us sick (2014)

Animal Management in Rural and Remote Indigenous Communities

This poster, produced by Animal Management in Rural and Remote Indigenous Communities (AMRRIC), aims to show the negative effect that dog scabies can have on people.

The poster discusses:

  • where scabies live
  • the transmission of scabies between dogs and other dogs, and dogs and people
  • the importance of washing bedding and leaving it in the sun to kill the scabies eggs
  • the health effects of scabies
  • medicine to kill dog scabies.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

Bailey T, Mileva M, Zardawi I (2014)

Necrotising fasciitis in the Northern Territory of Australia.

Pathology; 46(Supplement 1): S107-S108

Bowen A (2014)

The skin sore trial: exploring a better treatment option for impetigo in Indigenous children living in remote Australia.

Doctor of Philosophy thesis, Charles Darwin University: Darwin

Bowen AC, Tong S, Chatfield MD, Carapetis JR (2014)

The microbiology of impetigo in Indigenous children: associations between Streptococcus pyogenes , Staphylococcus aureus, scabies, and nasal carriage.

BMC Infectious Diseases; 14: 3854

Retrieved 31 December 2014 from

Chakravarty SD, Zabriskie JB, Gibofsky A (2014)

Acute rheumatic fever and streptococci: the quintessential pathogenic trigger of autoimmunity.

Clinical Rheumatology; 33(7): 893-901

Chung SD, Wang KH, Huang CC, Lin HC (2014)

Scabies increased the risk of chronic kidney disease: a 5-year follow-up study.

Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology; 28(3): 286-292

Currie B, Bowen A, Tong S, Andrews M, O’Meara I, McDonald M, Chatfield M, Carapetis J (2014)

Short-course oral co-trimoxazole versus intramuscular benzathine benzylpenicillin for impetigo in a highly endemic region: an open-label, randomised, controlled, non-inferiority trial.

The Lancet; 384(9960): 2132–2140

Dios D (2014)

Infective endocarditis prophylaxis.

Oral Diseases; 20(4): 325–328

Einsiedel LJ, Pepperill C, Wilson K (2014)

Crusted scabies: a clinical marker of human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 infection in central Australia [letter].

Medical Journal of Australia; 200(11): 633-634

Engelman D, Hofer A, Davis JS, Carapetis JR, Baird RW, Giffard PM, Holt DC, Tong StYC (2014)

Invasive staphylococcus aureus Infections in children in tropical Northern Australia.

Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society; 3(4): 304-311

Hotez PJ (2014)

Aboriginal populations and their neglected tropical diseases.

PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases; 8(1): e2286

Retrieved 30 January 2014 from

Ireland S, Larkins S, Kandasamy Y (2014)

Group B Streptococcal infection in the first 90 days of life in North Queensland.

Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology; 54(2): 146-151

Kearns TM, Andrews R, Speare R, Cheng R, McCarthy J, Carapetis J, Currie B, Page W, Shield J (2014)

Prevalence of scabies and strongyloidiasis before and after MDA in a remote Aboriginal community in Northern Territory, Australia.

International Journal of Infectious Diseases; 21(Supplement 1): 252

LangstaffR, Kopczynski A, Alvoen F, Marika W, Ganambarr R, Maymuru B, Wald L, Jenkins J, GalliersJ, Saroukos C, Thompson S, Foster T, Bray M, Gunasekara D, Vick S, Prince S (2014)

One Disease: tackling scabies and crusted scabies across the Top End.

Northern Territory Disease Control Bulletin; 21(2): 18-19

Liu X, Walton S, Mounsey K (2014)

Vaccine against scabies: necessity and possibility.

Parasitology; 141(6): 725-732

Lokuge B, Burke T (2014)

A doctor's dream : a story of hope from the Top End.

Sydney: Allen &​ Unwin

Lokuge B, Kopczynski A, Woltmann A, Alvoen F, Connors C, Guyula T, Mulholland E, Cran S, Foster T, Lokuge K, Burke T, Prince S (2014)

Crusted scabies in remote Australia, a new way forward: lessons and outcomes from the East Arnhem Scabies Control Program.

Medical Journal of Australia; 200(11): 644-648

Marquardt T (2014)

Managing skin infections in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

Australian Family Physician; 43(1/2): 16-19

This article provides an overview of some of the issues to consider when managing a patient with a skin infection, which may impact on completion of treatment and development of complications in the long term.

The article recommends management consisting of treatment of the patient through medication and also general measures for the patient, their family and the community as a whole.

Content covered includes:

  • common causes of skin infections
  • bacterial infections
  • viral infections
  • fungal infections
  • parasitic infections
  • management of infections
  • recurrence/persistence
  • non-compliance
  • treatment failure/incorrect diagnosis
  • re-infection
  • isolation/risk of spread
  • general interventions
    • patient specific
    • community based.

The article also provides a case study of a child with scabies and a secondary bacterial component.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

Middleton B, Morris P, Carapetis J (2014)

Invasive group A streptococcal infection in the Northern Territory, Australia: case report and review of the literature.

Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health; 50(11): 869–873

Miller A, Smith ML, Judd JA, Speare R (2014)

Strongyloides stercoralis: systematic review of barriers to controlling strongyloidiasis for Australian Indigenous communities.

PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases; 8(9): e3141

Retrieved 25 September 2014 from

Moreland NJ (2014)

Working towards a group A streptococcal vaccine: report of a collaborative Trans-Tasman workshop.

Vaccine; 32(30): 3713–3720

Nikpour M, Bridge JA, Richter S (2014)

A systematic review of prevalence, disease characteristics, and management of systemic lupus erythematosus in Australia: identifying areas of unmet need.

Internal Medicine Journal; 44(12a): 1170–1179

Rémond MGW (2014)

Informing the prevention, diagnosis and management of acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease in Aboriginal Australian and Torres Strait Islander populations.

Doctor of Philosophy thesis, James Cook University: Townsville, Qld

Reynolds SL, Pike RN, Mika A, Blom AM, Hofmann A, Wijeyewickrema LC, Kemp D, Fischer K (2014)

Scabies mite inactive serine proteases are potent inhibitors of the human complement lectin pathway.

PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases; 8(5): 1-8

Sharma A, Nitsche-Schmitz DP (2014)

Challenges to developing effective streptococcal vaccines to prevent rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease.

Vaccine: Development and Therapy; 2014(4): 39-54

Simpson BS, Luo X, Costabile M, Caughey GE, Wang J, Claudie DJ, McKinnon RA, Semple SJ (2014)

Polyandric acid A, a clerodane diterpenoid from the Australian medicinal plant dodonaea polyandra, attenuates pro-inflammatory cytokine secretion in vitro and in vivo.

Journal of Natural Products; 77(1): 85–91

Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision (2014)

Overcoming Indigenous disadvantage: key indicators 2014.

Canberra: Productivity Commission

This report measures the wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. It is the sixth report in a series commissioned by all Australian governments, designed to measure progress in overcoming the disadvantage faced by many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians have been actively involved in the development and production of the report. The report measures the progress of the six targets set by the Council of Australian Governments Closing the gap strategy, together with other identified significant indicators. The report has three main sections:

  • an overview of the key messages
  • the main report which provides the evidence base for the framework for the report and detailed information on outcomes
  • tables expanding on the data presented in the report.

The information in this report can help inform the design of policies.

Abstract adapted from Productivity Commission

Swe PM, Fischer K (2014)

A scabies mite serpin interferes with complement-mediated neutrophil functions and promotes staphylococcal growth.

PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases; 8(6): e2928

Retrieved 19 June 2014 from

Williamson DA, Coombs GW, Nimmo GR (2014)

Staphylococcus aureus “down under’: contemporary epidemiology of staphylococcus aureus in Australia, New Zealand and the south west Pacific.

Clinical Microbiology and Infection; 20(7): 597–604


Askew DA, Schluter PJ, Spurling GKP, Bond CJR, Brown ADH (2013)

Urban Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children's exposure to stressful events: a cross-sectional study.

Medical Journal of Australia; 199(1): 42-45

Davis JS, McGloughlin S, Tong SY, Walton SF, Currie BJ (2013)

A novel clinical grading scale to guide the management of crusted scabies.

PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases; 7(9): e2387

Retrieved 12 September 2013 from

Holt DC, Burgess STG, Reynolds S, Wajahat M, Fischer K (2013)

Intestinal proteases of free living and parasitic astigmatid mites.

Cell and Tissue Research; 351(2): 339-352

Holt DC, Fischer K (2013)

Novel approaches to an old disease: recent developments in scabies mite biology.

Current Opinion in Infectious Diseases; 26(2): 110-115

Kearns T (2013)

Scabies and strongyloidiasis prevalence before and after a mass drug administration in a remote Aboriginal community in the Northern Territory.

Doctor of Philosophy thesis, Charles Darwin University: Darwin

Mounsey KE, McCarthy JS, Walton SF (2013)

Scratching the itch: new tools to advance understanding of scabies.

Trends in parasitology; 29(1): 35–42

Naz T (2013)

Chemical and biological studies of medicinal plants used by the Yaegl Aboriginal community of Australia.

Doctor of Philosophy thesis, Macquarie University: Sydney

Towers RJ, Carapetis JR, Currie BJ, Davies MR, Walker MJ (2013)

Extensive diversity of streptococcus pyogenes in a remote human population reflects global-scale transmission rather than localised diversification.

PLOS ONE; 8(9): e73851

Retrieved 16 September 2013 from

Whitehall J, Kuzulugil D, Sheldrick K, Wood A (2013)

Burden of paediatric pyoderma and scabies in North West Queensland.

Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health; 49(2): 141–143


Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2012)

Australia's health 2012.

Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

Centre for Disease Control (2012)

NT notifications of diseases by onset date & districts: 1 January –31 December 2011 & 2010.

Darwin: Northern Territory Department of Health

Coombs GW, Goering RV, Chua KYL, Monecke S, Howden BP, Stinear TP, Ehricht R, O'Brien FG, Christiansen KJ (2012)

The molecular epidemiology of the highly virulent ST93 Australian community staphylococcus aureus strain.

PLOS ONE; 7(8): e43037

Retrieved from

Fischer K, Holt D, Currie B, Kemp D (2012)

Scabies: important clinical consequences explained by new molecular studies.

Advances in Parasitology; 79: 339-373

Hare KM, Cheng AC, Smith-Vaughan H, Chang AC, Morris PS, Leach AJ (2012)

Concordance between nasopharyngeal cultures and pathogens in ear discharge and lower airway specimens from Indigenous children in the Northern Territory.

Paper presented at the OMOZ 2012. 2-4 May 2012, Fremantle, WA

Hewagama S, Einsiedel L, Spelman T (2012)

Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia at Alice Springs Hospital, Central Australia, 2003-2006.

Internal Medicine Journal; 42(5): 505–512

Hoy WE, White AV, Dowling A, Sharma SK, Bloomfield H, Tipiloura BT, Swanson CE, Mathews JD, McCredie DA (2012)

Post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis is a strong risk factor for chronic kidney disease in later life.

Kidney International; 81(2): 1026-1032

Jones R (2012)

Fighting disease with fruit.

Paper presented at the OMOZ 2012. 2-4 May 2012, Fremantle, WA

Kyd J (2012)

Microbial infection and otitis media.

Paper presented at the OMOZ 2012. 2-4 May 2012, Fremantle, WA

Lokuge B (2012)

The East Arnhem Scabies Control Program: a community empowerment strategy to eliminate crusted scabies and scabies as public health issues in Australia: 12 month report from March 2011 (launch) to April 2012.

Darwin: One Disease At A Time

Mika A, Reynolds SL, Mohlin FC, Willis C, Swe PM, Pickering DA, Halilovic V, Wijeyewickrema LC, Pike RN, Blom AM, Kemp DJ, Fischer K (2012)

Novel scabies mite serpins inhibit all three pathways of the human complement system.

PLOS ONE; 7(7): e40489

Retrieved 11 July 2012 from

Mika A, Reynolds SL, Pickering D, McMillan D, Sriprakash KS (2012)

Complement inhibitors from scabies mites promote streptococcal growth - a novel mechanism in infected epidermis?.

PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases; 6(7): e1563

Mounsey KE, Willis C, Burgess ST, Holt DC, McCarthy J, Fischer K (2012)

Quantitative PCR-based genome size estimation of the astigmatid mites Sarcoptes scabiei, Psoroptes ovis and Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus.

Parasites & Vectors; 5: 3

Retrieved 4 January 2012 from

O’Halloran L (2012)

Acute post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis community screen in a Central Australian community in 2012.

Northern Territory Disease Control Bulletin; 19(2): 22-26

Schrieber L (2012)

Streptococci in an Aboriginal Australian community: is there a link between dogs and humans?.

Master of Science thesis, University of Sydney: Sydney

Scott L (2012)

Acute post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis community screen of large Top End community 21-29 February.

Northern Territory Disease Control Bulletin; 19(1): 8-12

Swanson CE, Hoy WE (2012)

Childhood post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis and later health status in a remote Aboriginal community.

The Chronicle; 23(1): 17

Thomson N, MacRae A, Brankovich J, Burns J, Catto M, Gray C, Levitan L, Maling C, Potter C, Ride K, Stumpers S, Urquhart B (2012)

Overview of Australian Indigenous health status, 2011.

Perth, WA: Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet


Coppa K, Wurrulnga E, Kopczynski A (2011)

Milingimbi healthy homes & skin week.

Paper presented at the Australian Health Promotion Association 20th National Conference. 11 April 2011, Cairns, Qld

Dean T (2011)

Catching the sequencing bug.

Australian Life Scientist; 8(6): 48-50

Gilmore SJ (2011)

Control strategies for endemic childhood scabies.

PLOS ONE; 6(1): e15990

Retrieved 25 January 2011 from;jsessionid=EC322D086620F361C24C7F8EA8A8C38E.ambra02?uri=info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0015990&representation=PDF

Hudson S (2011)

One disease at a time: eradicating scabies in east Arnhem Land.

Policy; 27(2): 23-25

Mahmood W (2011)

Characterisation of aspartic protease activity from the scabies mite Sarcoptes scabiei.

Doctor of Philosophy thesis, Charles Darwin University: Darwin

McMeniman E, Holden L, Kearns T, Clucas DB, Carapetis JR, Currie BJ, Connors C, Andrews RM (2011)

Skin disease in the first two years of life in Aboriginal children in East Arnhem Land.

Australasian Journal of Dermatology; 52(4): 270–273

Mika A, Goh P, Holt DC, Kemp DJ, Fischer K (2011)

Scabies mite peritrophins are potential targets of human host innate immunity.

PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases; 5(9): e1331

Retrieved 27 September 2011 from

Assume acute rheumatic fever until proven otherwise - think ARF A4 poster (2011)

Queensland Health

This poster aims to raise awareness among clinicians about the symptoms associated with acute rheumatic fever. It carries the message 'assume acute rheumatic fever until proven otherwise'. The poster lists the typical symptoms and the actions required for treatment of the disease.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract


Bailie R, Stevens M, McDonald E, Brewster D, Guthridge S (2010)

Exploring cross-sectional associations between common childhood illness, housing and social conditions in remote Australian Aboriginal communities.

BMC Public Health; 10: 147

Retrieved 20 March 2010 from

Central Australian Rural Practitioners Association (2010)

CARPA standard treatment manual [5th ed.].

5th ed. Alice Springs: Central Australian Rural Practitioners Association

This manual assists practitioners to manage a range of health, social and work conditions when they arrive in central and northern Australia without any specific training in remote practice.

The manual topics include:

  • emergency and assessment
    • patterns of abdominal pain
    • burns
    • chest (breathing) injuries
  • child health
    • dental and oral problems
    • ear and hearing problems
    • chronic suppuratives lung disease
  • mental health and drug problems
    • mental health assessment
    • suicide risk
    • alcohol and other drugs
  • chronic disease
    • assessing and reducing cardiovascular risk
    • diabetes
    • heart failure
  • sexual health
    • HIV/AIDS
    • sexually transmitted infections in men
  • general topics
    • eye problems
    • rheumatic fever and heart disease
    • hepatitis.

This resource ensures a sensitive and comprehensive approach to primary health care for Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory and beyond. Access to the manual requires registration which is free.

The sixth edition of the CARPA manual was released in 2014.

Abstract adapted from Central Australian Rural Practitioners Association

Harris P, Siew D, Proud M, Buettner P, Norton R (2010)

Bacteraemia caused by beta–haemolytic streptococci in North Queensland: changing trends over a 14 year period.

Clinical Microbiology and Infection; 17( 1216–1222

Holt DC, McCarthy JS, Carapetis JR (2010)

Parasitic diseases of remote Indigenous communities in Australia.

International Journal for Parasitology; 40(10): 1119–1126

Mounsey K, Ho MF, Kelly A, Willis C, Pasay C, Kemp DJ, McCarthy JS, Fischer K (2010)

A tractable experimental model for study of human and animal scabies.

PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases; 4(7): e756 (1-6)

Nimmo GR, Schooneveldt JM, Sutherland JL, Power S, Olesen D, Selvey C, Beard F, Jones M, Paterson DL (2010)

Epidemiology of non-multiresistant methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infection in Queensland, Australia: associations with Indigenous populations and Panton–Valentine leukocidin.

European Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases; 29(10): 1253-1259

Tong SYC (2010)

The clinical and molecular epidemiology of community-associated Staphylococcus aureus in northern Australia.

Doctor of Philosophy thesis, Charles Darwin University: Darwin

Whitehead BD, Smith HV, Nourse C (2010)

Invasive group A streptococcal disease in children in Queensland.

Epidemiology and Infection; 139(4): 623-628

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