The changing epidemiology of Kunjin virus in Australia

Prow, Natalie A. (2013) The changing epidemiology of Kunjin virus in Australia. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 10 12: 6255-6272. doi:10.3390/ijerph10126255


Author Prow, Natalie A.
Title The changing epidemiology of Kunjin virus in Australia
Journal name International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1660-4601
1661-7827
Publication date 2013-11-25
Year available 2013
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.3390/ijerph10126255
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 10
Issue 12
Start page 6255
End page 6272
Total pages 18
Place of publication Basel, Switzerland
Publisher M D P I AG
Language eng
Abstract West Nile virus (WNV) is a mosquito-borne virus responsible for outbreaks of viral encephalitis in humans and horses, with particularly virulent strains causing recent outbreaks of disease in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and North America. A strain of WNV, Kunjin (WNVKUN), is endemic in northern Australia and infection with this virus is generally asymptomatic. However in early 2011, an unprecedented outbreak of encephalitis in horses occurred in south-eastern Australia, resulting in mortality in approximately 10%-15% of infected horses. A WNV-like virus (WNVNSW2011) was isolated and found to be most closely related to the indigenous WNVKUN, rather than other exotic WNV strains. Furthermore, at least two amino acid changes associated with increased virulence of the North American New York 99 strain (WNVNY99) compared to the prototype WNVKUN were present in the WNVNSW2011 sequence. This review summarizes our current understanding of WNVKUN and how the epidemiology and ecology of this virus has changed. Analysis of virulence determinants of contemporary WNVKUN isolates will provide clues on where virulent strains have emerged in Australia. A better understanding of the changing ecology and epidemiology associated with the emergence of virulent strains is essential to prepare for future outbreaks of WNV disease in Australia.
Keyword Australia
Epidemiology
Kunjin virus
West Nile virus
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences
 
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