Effect of temperature and precipitation on salmonellosis cases in South-East Queensland, Australia: An observational study

Stephen, Dimity Maree & Barnett, Adrian Gerard (2016) Effect of temperature and precipitation on salmonellosis cases in South-East Queensland, Australia: An observational study. BMJ Open, 6(2), Article Number:-e010204.

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Foodborne illnesses in Australia, including salmonellosis, are estimated to cost over $A1.25 billion annually. The weather has been identified as being influential on salmonellosis incidence, as cases increase during summer, however time series modelling of salmonellosis is challenging because outbreaks cause strong autocorrelation. This study assesses whether switching models is an improved method of estimating weather–salmonellosis associations.


We analysed weather and salmonellosis in South-East Queensland between 2004 and 2013 using 2 common regression models and a switching model, each with 21-day lags for temperature and precipitation.


The switching model best fit the data, as judged by its substantial improvement in deviance information criterion over the regression models, less autocorrelated residuals and control of seasonality. The switching model estimated a 5°C increase in mean temperature and 10 mm precipitation were associated with increases in salmonellosis cases of 45.4% (95% CrI 40.4%, 50.5%) and 24.1% (95% CrI 17.0%, 31.6%), respectively.


Switching models improve on traditional time series models in quantifying weather–salmonellosis associations. A better understanding of how temperature and precipitation influence salmonellosis may identify where interventions can be made to lower the health and economic costs of salmonellosis.

Impact and interest:

3 citations in Scopus
3 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 93621
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: salmonellosis, temperature, switching models, precipitation, Queensland
DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2015-010204
ISSN: 2044-6055
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Epidemiology (111706)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2016 The Author(s)
Copyright Statement: This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
Deposited On: 11 Mar 2016 02:07
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2016 04:48

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