About The role of diagnostic testing in the changing epidemiology of pertussis and influenza in Australia

PresenterMarlena Kaczmarek

Marlena Kaczmarek - PhD Thesis Review milestone presentation


Dr Stephen Lambert (Principal) and Dr Robert Ware (Associate)


Influenza and pertussis are the two most common vaccine-preventable infections notified in Australia. The clinical illness for both infections can range from mild to severe, however severe cases can result in hospitalisations, intensive care unit admissions, and in some cases even death.

The incidence of both influenza and pertussis has been increasing over the last decade. The role of improved availability of PCR testing has been hypothesised to have led to improved case ascertainment and superior detection of disease activity. This research explores the role that changing diagnostic method use has had on the epidemiology of pertussis and influenza in Australia, using a variety of existing datasets.

This Thesis Review presentation will briefly describe pertussis and influenza epidemiology in Australia, focusing on changes over time and the role that increasing use of PCR testing has played. 

Brief Bio

Marlena Kaczmarek is a final year PhD student in the field of infectious disease epidemiology at UQ's School of Public Health. Prior to commencing her PhD, she spent several years working in communicable disease surveillance and conducting research on the epidemiology of vaccine preventable diseases. She also completed a Masters of Public Health, through the University of Sydney, in 2009. Marlena’s primary fields of interest are the prevention, control and surveillance of vaccine preventable diseases.


Room 234, Level 2 Public Health Building (Herston)