Epidemiology and economic burden of antimicrobial resistance in northern Australia

This study looks at the epidemiology and economic burden of antimicrobial resistance in northern Australia.

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a continuing and growing threat to public health and modern medicine, making prevention and mitigation an urgent global priority. The health and economic burden of AMR is of particular concern in the tropical north of Australia where the infectious disease burden is high and disproportionately affects Aboriginal communities. Furthermore, the dual burden of unique endemic resistant strains in Northern Australia and this region’s proximity to nations with high rates of AMR adds to the urgent need for action.

By quantifying the health and economic burden of AMR in the Top End, this PhD will aid health policy decisions and interventions that will reduce the burden of infectious disease and AMR in both urban settings and remote Aboriginal communities. The project also aims to explore the spatiotemporal trends of AMR in the region, assess the cost-effectiveness of interventions combating AMR and model the future burden of AMR.

In line with the HOT NORTH’s AMR theme, this PhD project will contribute to the coordinated response to AMR in Northern Australia. Given the high infectious disease and AMR risk in this setting, as well as the inequalities between the Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations, it is crucial we understand the magnitude and implications of this issue, to make evidence-informed policy decisions for appropriate antimicrobial use.


  • Cuningham W, Anderson L, Bowen AC, Buising K, Connors C, Daveson K, Martin J, McNamara S, Patel B, James R, Shanks J. Antimicrobial stewardship in remote primary healthcare across northern Australia. PeerJ. 2020 Jul 22;8:e9409. http://dx.doi.org/10.7717/peerj.9409
  • Wozniak TM, Cuningham W, Buchanan S, Coulter S, Baird RW, Nimmo GR, Blyth CC, Tong SY, Currie BJ, Ralph AP. Geospatial epidemiology of Staphylococcus aureus in a tropical setting: an enabling digital surveillance platform. Scientific Reports. 2020 Aug 5;10(1):1-0. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-69312-4
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