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Infection of western gray kangaroos (Macropus fuliginosus) with Australian arboviruses associated with human infection.
journal contributionposted on 2020-02-05, 00:00 authored by Narayan GyawaliNarayan Gyawali, Andrew Taylor-Robinson, Richard BradburyRichard Bradbury, A Potter, JG Aaskov
More than 75 arboviruses (arthropod-borne viruses) have been identified in Australia. While Alfuy virus (ALFV), Barmah Forest virus (BFV), Edge Hill virus (EHV), Kokobera virus (KOKV), Murray Valley encephalitis virus (MVEV), Sindbis virus (SINV), Ross River virus (RRV), Stratford virus (STRV), and West Nile virus strain Kunjin (KUNV) have been associated with human infection, there remains a paucity of data regarding their respective transmission cycles and any potential nonhuman vertebrate hosts. It is likely that these viruses are maintained in zoonotic cycles involving native animals rather than solely by human-to-human transmission. A serosurvey (n = 100) was undertaken to determine the prevalence of neutralizing antibodies against a panel of Australian arboviruses in western gray kangaroos (Macropus fuliginosus) obtained from 11 locations in the midwest to southwest of Western Australia. Neutralizing antibodies against RRV were detected in 25%, against BFV in 14%, and antibodies to both viruses in 34% of serum samples. The prevalence of antibodies against these two viruses was the same in males and females, but higher in adult than in subadult kangaroos (p < 0.05). Twenty-one percent of samples had neutralizing antibodies against any one or more of the flaviviruses ALFV, EHV, KOKV, MVEV, and STRV. No neutralizing antibodies against SINV and KUNV were detected. If this sample of kangaroo sera was representative of the broader Australian population of macropods, it suggests that they are common hosts for RRV and BFV. The absence or low seroprevalence of antibodies against the remaining arboviruses suggests that they are not prevalent in the region or that kangaroos are not commonly infected with them. The detection of neutralizing antibodies to MVEV requires further investigation as this virus has not been identified previously so far south in Western Australia.
Category 2 - Other Public Sector Grants Category
Number of Pages7
PublisherMary Ann Liebert
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External Author AffiliationsQueensland University of Technology; WA Department of Health