Current Articles

The impact of novel lyssavirus discovery

The global discovery of novel lyssaviruses is of continued scientific interest through its importance to both public and animal health. Lyssaviruses cause an invariably fatal encephalitis that is more commonly known as rabies. The term rabies has a long history in human society, as rabies virus (RABV) is the only pathogen that is associated with 100% fatality once the onset of clinical disease has started. Although predominantly associated across the globe with domestic and feral dog populations, the association of bats is clear. Whilst evoluti...

Ashley C Banyard and Anthony R Fooks     09-Feb-2017
Menangle virus: one of the first of the novel viruses from fruit bats

‘Brainless pig disease swoops on Sydney.' This was a media headline that threatened to emerge during the early stages of a disease outbreak in pigs in NSW. However, identification of the viral cause and epidemiological studies that supported a sound management program minimised the impact of this outbreak on animal and human health.

Peter D Kirkland     09-Feb-2017
Virus discovery in bats

Comprising approximately 20% of known mammalian species, bats are abundant throughout the world1. In recent years, bats have been shown to be the reservoir host for many highly pathogenic viruses, leading to increased attempts to identify other zoonotic bat-borne viruses. These efforts have led to the discovery of over 200 viruses in bats and many more viral nucleic acid sequences from 27 different viral families2,3 (Table 1). Over half of the world’s recently emerged infectious diseases origina...

Rebecca I Johnson and Ina L Smith     09-Feb-2017
Bats, bacteria and their role in health and disease

Bats are ancient and among the most diverse mammals in terms of species richness, diet and habitat preferences, characteristics that may contribute to a high diversity of infectious agents. During the past two decades, the interest in bats and their microorganisms largely increased because of their role as reservoir hosts or carriers of important pathogens. Rapid advances in microbial detection and characterisation by high-throughput sequencing technologies have led to large genetic data sets but also improved our possibilities and speed of ide...

Kristin Mühldorfer     09-Feb-2017
The interplay between viruses and the immune system of bats

Bats are an abundant and diverse group of mammals with an array of unique characteristics, including their well-known roles as natural reservoirs for a variety of viruses. These include the deadly zoonotic paramyxoviruses; Hendra (HeV) and Nipah (NiV)1,2, lyssaviruses3, coronaviruses such as severe acute respiratory coronavirus (SARS-CoV)4 and filoviruses such as Marburg5. Although these viruses are highly pathogenic in other species, including humans, bats rarely show clinical s...

Stacey Leech and Michelle L Baker     09-Feb-2017
Culture Media Special Interest Group (SIG)

Peter Traynor     09-Feb-2017
Mycobacterium Special Interest Group (MSIG)

Lisa Shephard     09-Feb-2017
Vale Andrew Butcher

Paul Sideris     09-Feb-2017
Vale Joan Faoagali

Bat and virus ecology in a dynamic world

The emergence of infectious diseases caused by bat-associated viruses has had a devastating and wide-reaching effect on human populations. These viruses include lyssaviruses such as rabies virus, the filoviruses, Ebola (EBOV) and Marburg virus, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) coronavirus, and the paramyxoviruses, Hendra virus (HeV) and Nipah virus (NiV)1. As a result bats have been the focus of substantial research (Fig. 1) and certain cellular and physiological traits of bats are hypothesised to lead to ‘special&rsquo...

David A Wilkinson and David TS Hayman     09-Feb-2017
Vale Sue Dixon

George Davey     21-Feb-2017
Henipaviruses: bat-borne paramyxoviruses

Found on every continent except Antarctica, bats are one of the most abundant, diverse and geographically widespread vertebrates globally, making up approximately 20% of all known extant mammal species1,2. Noted for being the only mammal with the ability of powered flight, bats constitute the order Chiroptera (from the Ancient Greek meaning ‘hand wing’), which is further divided into two suborders: Megachiroptera known as megabats or flying foxes, and Microchiroptera comprising of echolocating microb...

Sarah Edwards and Glenn A Marsh     21-Feb-2017
Persistent or long-term coronavirus infection in Australian bats

When the World Health Organization declared the end of the global outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) on the 5 July 2003, more than 8000 cases with over 800 fatalities had been reported in 32 countries worldwide and financial costs to the global economy were close to $US40 billion1,2. Coronaviruses were identified as being responsible for the outbreaks of both SARS and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS, the latter in 2013). Subsequently, bats (order Chiroptera) were identified as the natura...

Craig Smith     21-Feb-2017
Bi-State Conference 2016: event report

Edward Fox, Christine Seers and Karena Waller     16-Feb-2017
Filoviruses and bats

While Reston and Lloviu viruses have never been associated with human disease, the other filoviruses cause outbreaks of hemorrhagic fever characterised by person-to-person transmission and high case fatality ratios. Cumulative evidence suggests that bats are the most likely reservoir hosts of the filoviruses. Ecological investigations following Marburg virus disease outbreaks associated with entry into caves inhabited by Rousettus aegyptiacus bats led to the identification of this bat species as the natural reservoir host of the marburgv...

Amy J Schuh, Brian R Amman and Jonathan S Towner     17-Feb-2017

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Seven Modern Plagues

Seven Modern Plagues

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Evolution in a Toxic World

Evolution in a Toxic World

A groundbreaking approach to understanding toxics and health.

The Australian Society of Microbiology

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Guide to Mosquitoes of Australia

Guide to Mosquitoes of Australia

Provides a comprehensive, user-friendly guide to the mosquitoes of Australia and key strategies for managing them.