Coopers Plains, Australia
Coopers Plains, Australia

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Smith C.S.,Biosecurity science Laboratory | Epstein J.H.,EcoHealth Alliance | Breed A.C.,Veterinary Laboratories Agency | Plowright R.K.,University of California at Davis | And 4 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2011

Background:Understanding the long-distance movement of bats has direct relevance to studies of population dynamics, ecology, disease emergence, and conservation.Methodology/Principal Findings:We developed and trialed several collar and platform terminal transmitter (PTT) combinations on both free-living and captive fruit bats (Family Pteropodidae: Genus Pteropus). We examined transmitter weight, size, profile and comfort as key determinants of maximized transmitter activity. We then tested the importance of bat-related variables (species size/weight, roosting habitat and behavior) and environmental variables (day-length, rainfall pattern) in determining optimal collar/PTT configuration. We compared battery- and solar-powered PTT performance in various field situations, and found the latter more successful in maintaining voltage on species that roosted higher in the tree canopy, and at lower density, than those that roost more densely and lower in trees. Finally, we trialed transmitter accuracy, and found that actual distance errors and Argos location class error estimates were in broad agreement.Conclusions/Significance:We conclude that no single collar or transmitter design is optimal for all bat species, and that species size/weight, species ecology and study objectives are key design considerations. Our study provides a strategy for collar and platform choice that will be applicable to a larger number of bat species as transmitter size and weight continue to decrease in the future. © 2011 Smith et al.


Pulliam J.R.C.,Princeton University | Pulliam J.R.C.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | Pulliam J.R.C.,University of Florida | Epstein J.H.,EcoHealth Alliance | And 11 more authors.
Journal of the Royal Society Interface | Year: 2012

Emerging zoonoses threaten global health, yet the processes by which they emerge are complex and poorly understood. Nipah virus (NiV) is an important threat owing to its broad host and geographical range, high case fatality, potential for human-to-human transmission and lack of effective prevention or therapies. Here, we investigate the origin of the first identified outbreak of NiV encephalitis in Malaysia and Singapore. We analyse data on livestock production from the index site (a commercial pig farm in Malaysia) prior to and during the outbreak, on Malaysian agricultural production, and from surveys of NiV's wildlife reservoir (flying foxes). Our analyses suggest that repeated introduction of NiV from wildlife changed infection dynamics in pigs. Initial viral introduction produced an explosive epizootic that drove itself to extinction but primed the population for enzootic persistence upon reintroduction of the virus. The resultant within-farm persistence permitted regional spread and increased the number of human infections. This study refutes an earlier hypothesis that anomalous El Niño Southern Oscillation-related climatic conditions drove emergence and suggests that priming for persistence drove the emergence of a novel zoonotic pathogen. Thus, we provide empirical evidence for a causative mechanism previously proposed as a precursor to widespread infection with H5N1 avian influenza and other emerging pathogens. © 2011 The Royal Society.


Guo S.,University of Queensland | Guo S.,Australian Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries | Wakeham D.,University of Adelaide | Brouwers H.J.M.,Australian Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries | And 8 more authors.
Microbes and Infection | Year: 2015

Phylogenetic group D extraintestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli (ExPEC), including O15:K52:H1 and clonal group A, have spread globally and become fluoroquinolone-resistant. Here we investigated the role of canine feces as a reservoir of these (and other) human-associated ExPEC and their potential as canine pathogens. We characterized and compared fluoroquinolone-resistant E. coli isolates originally identified as phylogenetic group D from either the feces of hospitalized dogs (n = 67; 14 dogs) or extraintestinal infections (n = 53; 33 dogs). Isolates underwent phylogenetic grouping, random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analysis, virulence genotyping, resistance genotyping, human-associated ExPEC O-typing, and multi-locus sequence typing. Five of seven human-associated sequence types (STs) exhibited ExPEC-associated O-types, and appeared in separate RAPD clusters. The largest subgroup (16 fecal, 26 clinical isolates) were ST354 (phylogroup F) isolates. ST420 (phylogroup B2); O1-ST38, O15:K52:H1-ST393, and O15:K1-ST130 (phylogroup D); and O7-ST457, and O1-ST648 (phylogroup F) were also identified. Three ST-specific RAPD sub-clusters (ST354, ST393, and ST457) contained closely related isolates from both fecal or clinical sources. Genes encoding CTX-M and AmpC β-lactamases were identified in isolates from five STs. Major human-associated fluoroquinolone-resistant ± extended-spectrum cephalosporin-resistant ExPEC of public health importance may be carried in dog feces and cause extraintestinal infections in some dogs. © 2015 Institut Pasteur.


Lazarus B.,University of Queensland | Paterson D.L.,University of Queensland | Mollinger J.L.,Biosecurity science Laboratory | Rogers B.A.,University of Queensland | Rogers B.A.,Monash Health
Clinical Infectious Diseases | Year: 2015

To find out whether food-producing animals (FPAs) are a source of extraintestinal expanded-spectrum cephalosporin-resistant Escherichia coli (ESCR-EC) infections in humans, Medline, Embase, and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews were systematically reviewed. Thirty-four original, peer-reviewed publications were identified for inclusion. Six molecular epidemiology studies supported the transfer of resistance via whole bacterium transmission (WBT), which was best characterized among poultry in the Netherlands. Thirteen molecular epidemiology studies supported transmission of resistance via mobile genetic elements, which demonstrated greater diversity of geography and host FPA. Seventeen molecular epidemiology studies did not support WBT and two did not support mobile genetic element-mediated transmission. Four observational epidemiology studies were consistent with zoonotic transmission. Overall, there is evidence that a proportion of human extraintestinal ESCR-EC infections originate from FPAs. Poultry, in particular, is probably a source, but the quantitative and geographical extent of the problem is unclear and requires further investigation. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Infectious Diseases Society of America.


Oakey J.,Biosecurity science Laboratory
Bulletin of entomological research | Year: 2011

Solenopsis invicta Buren (red imported fire ant) are invasive pests that have the capability of major destructive impacts on lifestyle, ecology and economy. Control of this species is dependent, in part, upon ability to estimate the potential spread from newly discovered nests. The potential for spread and the spread characteristics differ between monogyne and polygyne social forms. Prior to this study, differentiation of the two social forms in laboratory test samples commonly used a method involving restriction endonuclease digestion of an amplified Gp-9 fragment. Success of this assay is limited by the quality of DNA, which in the field-collected insects may be affected by temporary storage in unfavourable conditions. Here, we describe an alternative and highly objective assay based upon a high resolution melt technique following preamplification of a significantly shorter Gp-9 fragment than that required for restriction endonuclease digestion. We demonstrate the application of this assay to a S. invicta incursion in Queensland, Australia, using field samples from which DNA may be partially degraded. The reductions in hands-on requirements and overall duration of the assay underpin its suitability for high-throughput testing.


Field H.,Biosecurity science Laboratory | de Jong C.,Biosecurity science Laboratory | Melville D.,Biosecurity science Laboratory | Smith C.,Biosecurity science Laboratory | And 8 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2011

Hendra virus is a recently emerged zoonotic agent in Australia. Since first described in 1994, the virus has spilled from its wildlife reservoir (pteropid fruit bats, or 'flying foxes') on multiple occasions causing equine and human fatalities. We undertook a three-year longitudinal study to detect virus in the urine of free-living flying foxes (a putative route of excretion) to investigate Hendra virus infection dynamics. Pooled urine samples collected off plastic sheets placed beneath roosting flying foxes were screened for Hendra virus genome by quantitative RT-PCR, using a set of primers and probe derived from the matrix protein gene. A total of 1672 pooled urine samples from 67 sampling events was collected and tested between 1 July 2008 and 30 June 2011, with 25% of sampling events and 2.5% of urine samples yielding detections. The proportion of positive samples was statistically associated with year and location. The findings indicate that Hendra virus excretion occurs periodically rather than continuously, and in geographically disparate flying fox populations in the state of Queensland. The lack of any detection in the Northern Territory suggests prevalence may vary across the range of flying foxes in Australia. Finally, our findings suggest that flying foxes can excrete virus at any time of year, and that the apparent seasonal clustering of Hendra virus incidents in horses and associated humans (70% have occurred June to October) reflects factors other than the presence of virus. Identification of these factors will strengthen risk minimization strategies for horses and ultimately humans. © 2011 Field et al.


Oakey J.,Biosecurity science Laboratory | Gavey L.,Biosecurity Queensland | Singh S.V.,Central Institute for Research on Goats | Platell J.,Biosecurity science Laboratory | Waltisbuhl D.,Biosecurity science Laboratory
Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation | Year: 2014

The application of variable-number tandem repeats (VNTR) genotyping of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis isolates to assist in investigating incidents of bovine Johne’s disease in a low-prevalence region of Australia is described in the current study. Isolates from a response to detection of bovine Johne’s disease in Queensland were compared with strains from national and international sources. The tandem application of mycobacterial interspersed repetitive unit (MIRU) and multilocus short sequence repeats (MLSSR) genotyping identified 2 strains, 1 that infected cattle on multiple properties with trace-forward histories from a common infected property, and 1 genotypically different strain recovered from a single property. The former strain showed an identical genotype to an isolate from India. Neither strain showed a genotypic link to regions of Australia with a higher prevalence of the disease. Genotyping has indicated incursions from 2 independent sources. This intelligence has informed investigations into potential routes of entry and the soundness of ongoing control measures, and supported strategy and policy decisions regarding management of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis incursions for Queensland. © 2014 The Author(s).


PubMed | Biosecurity science Laboratory
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of veterinary diagnostic investigation : official publication of the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians, Inc | Year: 2016

In 2011, a 2-year-old horse in northern Queensland, Australia, was reported to have developed mild neurologic signs, and a blood sample was submitted for laboratory investigation. Virus isolation was performed using the blood sample, and an orbivirus was isolated. This was confirmed to be a strain of Elsey virus (ELSV) after transmission electron microscopy and nucleotide sequencing. The nucleotide sequence was compared with those in GenBank, and had 100% identity with ELSV previously reported from the Northern Territory, Australia. ELSV is taxonomically closely related to Peruvian horse sickness virus.


PubMed | University of Queensland and Biosecurity science Laboratory
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Clinical infectious diseases : an official publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America | Year: 2015

To find out whether food-producing animals (FPAs) are a source of extraintestinal expanded-spectrum cephalosporin-resistant Escherichia coli (ESCR-EC) infections in humans, Medline, Embase, and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews were systematically reviewed. Thirty-four original, peer-reviewed publications were identified for inclusion. Six molecular epidemiology studies supported the transfer of resistance via whole bacterium transmission (WBT), which was best characterized among poultry in the Netherlands. Thirteen molecular epidemiology studies supported transmission of resistance via mobile genetic elements, which demonstrated greater diversity of geography and host FPA. Seventeen molecular epidemiology studies did not support WBT and two did not support mobile genetic element-mediated transmission. Four observational epidemiology studies were consistent with zoonotic transmission. Overall, there is evidence that a proportion of human extraintestinal ESCR-EC infections originate from FPAs. Poultry, in particular, is probably a source, but the quantitative and geographical extent of the problem is unclear and requires further investigation.


PubMed | EcoSciences Precinct and Biosecurity science Laboratory
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Poultry science | Year: 2016

Limitations in quality bedding material have resulted in the growing need to re-use litter during broiler farming in some countries, which can be of concern from a food-safety perspective. The aim of this study was to compare the Campylobacter levels in ceca and litter across three litter treatments under commercial farming conditions. The litter treatments were (a) the use of new litter after each farming cycle; (b) an Australian partial litter re-use practice; and (c) a full litter re-use practice. The study was carried out on two farms over two years (Farm 1, from 2009-2010 and Farm 2, from 2010-2011), across three sheds (35,000 to 40,000 chickens/shed) on each farm, adopting three different litter treatments across six commercial cycles. A random sampling design was adopted to test litter and ceca for Campylobacter and Escherichia coli, prior to commercial first thin-out and final pick-up. Campylobacter levels varied little across litter practices and farming cycles on each farm and were in the range of log 8.0-9.0 CFU/g in ceca and log 4.0-6.0 MPN/g for litter. Similarly the E. coli in ceca were log 7.0 CFU/g. At first thin-out and final pick-up, the statistical analysis for both litter and ceca showed that the three-way interaction (treatments by farms by times) was highly significant (P<0.01), indicating that the patterns of Campylobacter emergence/presence across time vary between the farms, cycles and pickups. The emergence and levels of both organisms were not influenced by litter treatments across the six farming cycles on both farms. Either C. jejuni or C. coli could be the dominant species across litter and ceca, and this phenomenon could not be attributed to specific litter treatments. Irrespective of the litter treatments in place, cycle 2 on Farm 2 remained Campylobacter-free. These outcomes suggest that litter treatments did not directly influence the time of emergence and levels of Campylobacter and E. coli during commercial farming.

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