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Title: Investigation into high Barmah Forest virus disease case numbers reported in the Northern Territory, Australia 2012-13
Authors: Kurucz N
Markey P
Draper A
Melville L
Weir R
Davis S
Warchot A
Boyd R
Stokeld D
Series/Report no.: Vector Borne and Zoonotic Diseases;Vol 16, No. 2
Publisher: Mary Ann Liebert Inc Publishers
Abstract: Between October 2012 and October 2013, unprecedented high numbers of Barmah Forest virus (BFV) disease cases were reported in the Northern Territory (NT). An investigation was launched by the NT Department of Health in cooperation with the Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries and the Department of Land Resource Management to investigate possible causes for this phenomenon. The investigation included virus isolations from mosquitoes collected in Darwin urban areas, BFV antibody testing in peri-urban small mammals and a human BFV disease case series investigation of recent cases. No BFV was isolated from the 4641 mosquitoes tested, none of the mammals tested positive for BFV antibodies and the high BFV disease case numbers did not correlate with the relatively low mosquito vector numbers trapped in 2012/13. It was estimated that up to 89% of the 79 human cases investigated did not have an acute arboviral illness and therefore had tested falsely positive. An Alere PanBio BFV IgM ELISA test kit is generally used to test for BFV, with the BFV disease case definition based on IgM positives only. Other jurisdictions in Australia also reported high numbers of BFV disease cases, with the majority of the cases suspected to be false positives. Therefore, current testing methods need to be revised to reflect the true numbers of BFV disease cases occurring in Australia, and to provide correct diagnosis for patients.
Publication Date: 2016-02-05
ISSN: 1530-3667
Type: Article
Appears in Collections:(b) NT General Collection

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