Dr Colleen Lau

NHMRC Fellow
 +61 402 134 878





Colleen’s research interests include infectious disease epidemiology, environmental health, spatial epidemiology, travel medicine, tropical medicine, and the impact of global environmental change on infectious diseases. She collaborates with WHO and Ministries of Health in the Pacific Islands on research projects to inform public health strategies and interventions, and her current field projects include epidemiological studies of leptospirosis in Fiji, and lymphatic filariasis elimination in American Samoa. Colleen also works as a travel medicine doctor and general practitioner, and leads clinical research projects on travel vaccines, malaria prophylaxis, and illness in travellers.


Research interests

  • Infectious disease epidemiology
  • Eco-epidemiology of leptospirosis
  • Lymphatic filariasis elimination
  • Spatial epidemiology
  • Environmental health
  • Clinical travel medicine


  • Ortu G, Assoum M, Wittmann U, Knowles S, Clements M, Ndayishimiye O, Basáñez MG, Lau C, Clements A, Fenwick A, and Magalhaes RJS. (2016). The impact of an 8-year mass drug administration programme on prevalence, intensity and co-infections of soil-transmitted helminthiases in Burundi. Parasites & Vectors, 9(1), 513.
  • Lau C, Musso D, Fournier P, Parola P, Raoult D, Weinstein P. (2016). Absence of Serological Evidence of Rickettsia spp., Bartonellaspp., Ehrlichia spp. and Coxiella burnetii Infections in American Samoa. Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases, 7, pp. 703-705. doi: 10.1016/j.ttbdis.2016.02.019.
  • Lau C, Streeton C, David M, Sly P, Mills D. (2016). The tolerability of a combined hepatitis A and typhoid vaccine in children aged 2–16 years: an observational study. Journal of Travel Medicine, 1-8.
  • Lau C, Watson C, Lowry J, David M, Craig S, Wynwood S, Kama M, Nilles E. (2016). Human Leptospirosis in Fiji: An Eco-epidemiological Approach to Identifying Risk Factors and Environmental Drivers of Transmission. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. January 28; DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0004405.
  • Lau C, Smith C. (2016). Bayesian networks in infectious disease eco-epidemiology. Reviews in Environmental Health, 31(1), pp 173-177 DOI 10.1515/reveh-2015-0052.
  • Derne B, Weinstein P, Lau C. (2015). Wetlands as Sites of Exposure to Water-Borne Infectious Diseases. In Finlayson CM, Horwitz P, Weinstein P (Eds), Wetlands and Human Health. Springer: pp. 45-74.
  • David M, Ha S, Paynter S, Lau C. (2015). A systematic review and meta-analysis of management options for adults who respond poorly to hepatitis B vaccination. Vaccine, 33, 6654-6569.
  • Derne B, Weinstei, P, Musso D, Lau C. (2015). Distribution of rickettsioses in Oceania: Past patterns and implications for the future. Acta Tropica, 143, pp. 121-133.
  • Lau CL, Skelly C, Dohnt M, Smythe LD. (2015). The emergence of Leptospira borgpetersenii serovar Arborea in Queensland, Australia, 2001 to 2013. BMC Infectious Diseases, 15, pp. 230.
  • Lau C, Won K, Becker L, Soares Magalhaes R, Fuimaono S, Melrose W, Lammie P, Graves PM. (2014). Seroprevalence and Spatial Epidemiology of Lymphatic Filariasis in American Samoa after Successful Mass Drug Administration. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 8, pp. e3297.
  • Duncombe J, Lau C, Weinstein P, Aaskov J, Rourke M, Grant R, Clements A. (2013). Seroprevalence of dengue in American Samoa, 2010. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 19(2), pp. 325-326.
  • Lau C, Hohl N. (2013). Immunogenicity of a modified intradermal pre-exposure rabies vaccination schedule using a purified chick embryo cell vaccine. An observational study. Travel Medicine & Infectious Disease, 11, pp. 427-430.
  • Lau C, Weinstein P, Slaney D. (2013). Dengue Surveillance by Proxy: Travellers as Sentinels for Outbreaks in the Pacific Islands. Epidemiology and Infection, 141, pp. 2328-2334.
  • Lau C, DePasquale D. (2012). Leptospirosis Diagnostic Challenges, American Samoa. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 18, pp. 2079-81.
  • Lau C, Clements A, Skelly C, Dobson A, Smythe L, Weinstein P. (2012). Leptospirosis in American Samoa - Estimating and Mapping Risk using Environmental Data. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 6, pp. e1669.
  • Lau C, Jagals P. (2012). A Framework for Assessing and Predicting the Environmental Health Impact of Infectious Diseases - A Case Study of Leptospirosis. Reviews on Environmental Health, 27, pp. 163-174.
  • Lau C, Dobson A, Smythe L, Fearnley E, Skelly C, Clements A, Craig S, Fuimaono S, Weinstein P. (2012). Leptospirosis in American Samoa 2010 - Epidemiology, Environmental Drivers, and Management of Emergence. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 86, pp. 309-319.
  • Lau C, Skelly C, Craig S, Smythe L, Weinstein P. (2012). Emergence of new Leptospiral Serovars in American Samoa - Ascertainment or Ecological Change? BMC Infectious Diseases, 12, pp. 19.
  • Mills D, Lau C, Fearnley E, Weinstein P. (2011). The Immunogenicity of a Modified Intradermal Pre-exposure Rabies Vaccination Schedule - A Case Series of 420 Travelers. Journal of Travel Medicine. 18(5), pp 327-332.
  • Derne BT, Fearnley EJ, Lau CL, Paynter S, Weinstein P. (2011) Biodiversity and leptospirosis risk: A case of pathogen regulation? Medical Hypotheses. 77(3), pp. 339-44.
  • Mills D, Lau C, Weinstein P. (2011). Animal Bites and Rabies Exposure in Australian Travellers. The Medical Journal of Australia, 195, pp. 673-675.
  • Lau C, Weinstein P. (2010). Flooding and infectious disease in rural children: Can intervention mitigate predicted increases in disease burden? International Public Health Journal, 2(4), pp. 393-404.
  • Lau C, Smythe L, Craig S, Weinstein P. (2010). Climate Change, Flooding, Urbanisation, and Leptospirosis: Fuelling the Fire? Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 104, pp. 631-638.
  • Lau C, Smythe L, Weinstein P. (2010). Leptospirosis: An Emerging Disease in Travellers. Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease, 8, pp. 33-39.

Colleen Lau's Google Scholar page

Updated:  18 October 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director/Page Contact:  Executive Support Officer