Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Minimizing The Spread Of Deadly Hendra Virus

Date:
April 20, 2009
Source:
CSIRO Australia
Summary:
Scientists have made a breakthrough in better understanding how Hendra virus spreads from infected horses to other horses and humans.

This artificially coloured electron micrograph of Hendra virus is from the first identified case in Brisbane in 1994.
Credit: CSIRO

CSIRO Livestock Industries' scientists working at the Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL), in Geelong Victoria, have made a major breakthrough in better understanding how Hendra spreads from infected horses to other horses and humans. 

Funded by the Australian Biosecurity CRC for Emerging Infectious Diseases, Dr Deb Middleton and her team at AAHL have defined the period following the first signs of disease when horses are most likely to shed Hendra virus and therefore infect other horses and people. 

First identified in Brisbane in 1994, Hendra virus, which spreads from flying foxes, has regularly infected horses in Australia. Of the 11 equine outbreaks, four have led to human infection, with three of the six known human cases being fatal, the most recent of these in August 2008. 

Dr Deb Middleton and her team at AAHL have defined the period following the first signs of disease when horses are most likely to shed Hendra virus and therefore infect other horses and people.

Dr Middleton says limited information in the past, on when the disease can transmit, has made it difficult to manage infected horses to stop Hendra spreading further to people and other susceptible horses. 

"Our research has also determined the best biological samples required for rapid diagnosis of the virus in horses and identified the important relationship between the period of highest transmission risk and the time with which the disease can easily be detected," Dr Middleton says.

As a result of these findings, veterinarians and horse owners are likely to consider the possibility of Hendra virus infection sooner when dealing with sick horses. This will mean appropriate management strategies can be put in place immediately, reducing the risk of spread while testing is being carried out.

"Unlike in horse flu, where apparently healthy horses can transmit the virus, horses in the early stages of Hendra infection generally appear to be at lower risk compared to animals with more advanced signs of illness."

These research findings will be used to update the guidelines that horse owners and vets use to handle potential Hendra virus infections.

Dr Middleton says her research also indicates there is an opportunity to diagnose Hendra virus in horses early, prior to advanced clinical signs and the highest risk of transmission. 

"Developing a sensitive and specific stall-side test, which vets could use out in the field to diagnose the disease, has become even more important. However there are still key challenges to developing this type of advanced technology."

Although it is still not known how Hendra spreads from flying foxes to horses, Dr Middleton says the key to preventing human exposure and the exposure of additional horses is first understanding the disease in horses and secondly controlling the viral spread from diseased horses.

All research for the project was undertaken within AAHL's high-biocontainment facility.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by CSIRO Australia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

CSIRO Australia. "Minimizing The Spread Of Deadly Hendra Virus." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 April 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090415102213.htm>.
CSIRO Australia. (2009, April 20). Minimizing The Spread Of Deadly Hendra Virus. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090415102213.htm
CSIRO Australia. "Minimizing The Spread Of Deadly Hendra Virus." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090415102213.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Reuters - US Online Video (July 24, 2014) — An 8-year-old boy is bitten in the leg by a shark while vacationing at a Florida beach. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 24, 2014) — The eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, mainly known for conflict and instability, is an unlikely place for the production of fine cheese. But a farm in the village of Masisi, in North Kivu is slowly transforming perceptions of the area. Known simply as Goma cheese, the Congolese version of Dutch gouda has gained popularity through out the region. Ciara Sutton reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dogs Appear To Become Jealous Of Owners' Attention

Dogs Appear To Become Jealous Of Owners' Attention

Newsy (July 23, 2014) — A U.C. San Diego researcher says jealousy isn't just a human trait, and dogs aren't the best at sharing the attention of humans with other dogs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Professor Creates Site Revealing Where People's Cats Live

Professor Creates Site Revealing Where People's Cats Live

Newsy (July 23, 2014) — ​It's called I Know Where Your Cat Lives, and you can keep hitting the "Random Cat" button to find more real cats all over the world. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:  

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile iPhone Android Web
          Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins