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Newly discovered viruses of flying foxes

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Halpin, K., Young, P.L., Field, H. and Mackenzie, J.S. (1999) Newly discovered viruses of flying foxes. Veterinary Microbiology, 68 (1-2). pp. 83-87. ISSN 0378-1135

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Article Link: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0378-1135(99)00063-2


Flying foxes have been the focus of research into three newly described viruses from the order Mononegavirales, namely Hendra virus (HeV), Menangle virus and Australian Bat Lyssavirus (ABL). Early investigations indicate that flying foxes are the reservoir host for these viruses. In 1994, two outbreaks of a new zoonotic disease affecting horses and humans occurred in Queensland. The virus which was found to be responsible was called equine morbillivirus (EMV) and has since been renamed HeV. Investigation into the reservoir of HeV has produced evidence that antibodies capable of neutralising HeV have only been detected in flying foxes. Over 20% of flying foxes in eastern Australia have been identified as being seropositive. Additionally six species of flying foxes in Papua New Guinea have tested positive for antibodies to HeV. In 1996 a virus from the family Paramyxoviridae was isolated from the uterine fluid of a female flying fox. Sequencing of 10 000 of the 18 000 base pairs (bp) has shown that the sequence is identical to the HeV sequence. As part of investigations into HeV, a virus was isolated from a juvenile flying fox which presented with neurological signs in 1996. This virus was characterised as belonging to the family Rhabdoviridae, and was named ABL. Since then four flying fox species and one insectivorous species have tested positive for ABL. The third virus to be detected in flying foxes is Menangle virus, belonging to the family Paramyxoviridae. This virus was responsible for a zoonotic disease affecting pigs and humans in New South Wales in 1997. Antibodies capable of neutralising Menangle virus, were detected in flying foxes.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Flying foxes; Hendra virus; Menangle virus
Subjects:Veterinary medicine > Veterinary virology
Veterinary medicine > Communicable diseases of animals (General)
Live Archive:14 Mar 2024 00:31
Last Modified:14 Mar 2024 00:31

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