Publications

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development and field evaluation of the sentinel mosquito arbovirus capture kit (smack).although sentinel animals are used successfully throughout the world to monitor arbovirus activity, ethical considerations and cross-reactions in serological assays highlight the importance of developing viable alternatives. here we outline the development of a passive sentinel mosquito arbovirus capture kit (smack) that allows for the detection of arboviruses on honey-baited nucleic acid preservation cards (flinders technology associates; fta®) and has a similar trap efficacy as standard light ...201526444264
a new insect-specific flavivirus from northern australia suppresses replication of west nile virus and murray valley encephalitis virus in co-infected mosquito cells.recent reports of a novel group of flaviviruses that replicate only in mosquitoes and appear to spread through insect populations via vertical transmission have emerged from around the globe. to date, there is no information on the presence or prevalence of these insect-specific flaviviruses (isfs) in australian mosquito species. to assess whether such viruses occur locally, we used reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (rt-pcr) and flavivirus universal primers that are specific to the ...201323460804
rainfall and sentinel chicken seroconversions predict human cases of murray valley encephalitis in the north of western australia.murray valley encephalitis virus (mvev) is a flavivirus that occurs in australia and new guinea. while clinical cases are uncommon, mvev can cause severe encephalitis with high mortality. sentinel chicken surveillance is used at many sites around australia to provide an early warning system for risk of human infection in areas that have low population density and geographical remoteness. mvev in western australia occurs in areas of low population density and geographical remoteness, resulting in ...201425490948
a bayesian belief network for murray valley encephalitis virus risk assessment in western australia.murray valley encephalitis virus (mvev) is a clinically important virus in australia responsible for a number of epidemics over the past century. since there is no vaccine for mvev, other preventive health measures to curtail its spread must be considered, including the development of predictive risk models and maps to help direct public health interventions. this article aims to support these approaches by presenting a model for assessing mvev risk in western australia (wa).201626823368
an explosive epidemic of denv-3 in cairns, australia.from november 2008-may 2009 cairns queensland australia was struck by an explosive epidemic of denv-3 that exceeded the capacity of highly skilled dengue control team to control it. we describe the environmental, virological and entomological factors associated with this outbreak to better understand the circumstances leading to its occurrence. patient interviews, serological results and viral sequencing strongly suggest that the imported index case was infected in kalimantan, indonesia. a delay ...201323874522
natural exposure of horses to mosquito-borne flaviviruses in south-east queensland, australia.in 2011 an unprecedented epidemic of equine encephalitis occurred in south-eastern (se) australia following heavy rainfall and severe flooding in the preceding 2-4 months. less than 6% of the documented cases occurred in queensland, prompting the question of pre-existing immunity in queensland horses. a small-scale serological survey was conducted on horses residing in one of the severely flood-affected areas of se-queensland. using a flavivirus-specific blocking-elisa we found that 63% (39/62) ...201324048209
clinical and radiological predictors of outcome for murray valley encephalitis.a review of the laboratory-confirmed cases of murray valley encephalitis (mve) from western australia between 2009 and 2011 was conducted to describe the clinical, laboratory, and radiological features of the disease. the nine encephalitis patients presented with altered mental state and seizures, tremor, weakness, or paralysis. all patients developed a raised c-reactive protein, whereas most developed acute liver injury, neutrophilia, and thrombocytosis. all patients with encephalitis developed ...201323296449
a new species of mesonivirus from the northern territory, australia.here we describe casuarina virus (casv), a new virus in the family mesoniviridae. this is the first report of a mesonivirus in australia, which extends the geographical range of this virus family to 3 continents. the virus was isolated in 2010 from coquillettidia xanthogaster mosquitoes during surveillance in the suburbs of darwin, the capital of the northern territory. cryo-electron microscopy of the casv virions revealed spherical particles of 65 nm in size with large club-shaped projections o ...201424670468
characterization of virulent west nile virus kunjin strain, australia, 2011.to determine the cause of an unprecedented outbreak of encephalitis among horses in new south wales, australia, in 2011, we performed genomic sequencing of viruses isolated from affected horses and mosquitoes. results showed that most of the cases were caused by a variant west nile virus (wnv) strain, wnv(nsw2011), that is most closely related to wnv kunjin (wnv(kun)), the indigenous wnv strain in australia. studies in mouse models for wnv pathogenesis showed that wnv(nsw2011) is substantially m ...022516173
outbreak detection algorithms for seasonal disease data: a case study using ross river virus disease.detection of outbreaks is an important part of disease surveillance. although many algorithms have been designed for detecting outbreaks, few have been specifically assessed against diseases that have distinct seasonal incidence patterns, such as those caused by vector-borne pathogens.201021106104
etiology of encephalitis in australia, 1990-2007.encephalitis is a clinical syndrome commonly caused by emerging pathogens, which are not under surveillance in australia. we reviewed rates of hospitalization for patients with encephalitis in australia's most populous state, new south wales, from january 1990 through december 2007. encephalitis was the primary discharge diagnosis for 5,926 hospital admissions; average annual hospitalization rate was 5.2/100,000 population. the most commonly identified pathogen was herpes simplex virus (n = 763, ...200919788802
predicting the timing and magnitude of tropical mosquito population peaks for maximizing control efficiency.the transmission of mosquito-borne diseases is strongly linked to the abundance of the host vector. identifying the environmental and biological precursors which herald the onset of peaks in mosquito abundance would give health and land-use managers the capacity to predict the timing and distribution of the most efficient and cost-effective mosquito control. we analysed a 15-year time series of monthly abundance of aedes vigilax, a tropical mosquito species from northern australia, to determine ...200919238191
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