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Hobson-Peters J.,University of Queensland | Hobson-Peters J.,Australian Biosecurity Cooperative Research Center for Emerging Infectious Disease | Arevalo C.,National University of Costa Rica | Cheah W.Y.,University of Queensland | And 8 more authors.
Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases | Year: 2011

We conducted a serosurvey for West Nile virus (WNV) infection in equines in Costa Rica in 2004. Antibodies to WNV were detected in 28% of the horses using an epitope blocking ELISA that is specific for WNV. WNV infection was confirmed for a subset of these sera by plaque reduction neutralization tests and Western blot. This is the first evidence of WNV activity in Costa Rica. © Copyright 2011, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Source


Breed A.C.,University of Queensland | Breed A.C.,Australian Biosecurity Cooperative Research Center for Emerging Infectious Disease | Breed A.C.,Veterinary Laboratories Agency | Field H.E.,Australian Biosecurity Cooperative Research Center for Emerging Infectious Disease | And 4 more authors.
EcoHealth | Year: 2010

Fruit bats of the genus Pteropus (commonly known as flying-foxes) are the natural hosts of several recently emerged zoonotic viruses of animal and human health significance in Australia and Asia, including Hendra and Nipah viruses. Satellite telemetry was used on nine flying-foxes of three species (Pteropus alecto n = 5, P. vampyrus n = 2, and P. neohibernicus n = 2) to determine the scale and pattern of their long-distance movements and their potential to transfer these viruses between countries in the region. The animals were captured and released from six different locations in Australia, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, and Timor-Leste. Their movements were recorded for a median of 120 (range, 47-342) days with a median total distance travelled of 393 (range, 76-3011) km per individual. Pteropus alecto individuals were observed to move between Australia and Papua New Guinea (Western Province) on four occasions, between Papua New Guinea (Western Province) and Indonesia (Papua) on ten occasions, and to traverse Torres Strait on two occasions. Pteropus vampyrus was observed to move between Timor-Leste and Indonesia (West Timor) on one occasion. These findings expand upon the current literature on the potential for transfer of zoonotic viruses by flying-foxes between countries and have implications for disease risk management and for the conservation management of flying-fox populations in Australia, New Guinea, and the Lesser Sunda Islands. © 2010 International Association for Ecology and Health. Source


Hobson-Peters J.,Agen Biomedical Ltd. | Hobson-Peters J.,University of Queensland | Hobson-Peters J.,Australian Biosecurity Cooperative Research Center for Emerging Infectious Disease | Shan J.,Agen Biomedical Ltd. | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Virological Methods | Year: 2010

The autologous red cell agglutination assay reagent consists of an antibody or antibody fragment of a human erythrocyte-specific monoclonal antibody (mAb) conjugated to an antigen of interest. This bi-functional reagent causes the agglutination of the patient's erythrocytes in the presence of the antigen-specific antibodies in the patient's serum. Previously, such reagents have been produced either by chemical conjugation or recombinant expression in bacteria. These protocols required laborious processes for purification and refolding. The aim of the work reported in this article was to explore the production of the agglutination assay reagent as both a single chain Fv (scFv) antibody fragment and recombinant full-length mAb, expressed in a secreted form in commonly used mammalian cell lines. The DNA encoding the anti-erythrocyte antibodies was linked to that of a diagnostic peptide from West Nile virus, which requires glycosylation for recognition by antibodies present in the sera of infected horses. The expression vectors were designed to allow the rapid directional insertion of DNA encoding other immunogenic peptides to mediate the secretion of agglutinating scFv and full-length mAb reagents from transfected mammalian cells. Stable cell lines were produced for the expression of most, but not all of the constructs. The recombinant reagents could be used directly from the cell culture media after a simple concentration step. The results indicate that further modifications to increase the yield of recombinant protein will enable the direct use of culture supernatant in diagnostic assays without further processing. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. Source

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