Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Biogeographic barrier that protects Australia from avian flu does not stop Nipah virus

Date:
April 24, 2013
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
An invisible barrier separates land animals in Australia from those in south-east Asia may also restrict the spillover of animal-borne diseases like avian flu, but researchers have found that fruit bats on either side of this line can carry Nipah virus, a pathogen that causes severe human disease.

This is a black flying-fox (Pteropus alecto) ready for release following sampling in this study. This species occurs in Australia, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia.
Credit: Andrew Breed

An invisible barrier separates land animals in Australia from those in south-east Asia may also restrict the spillover of animal-borne diseases like avian flu, but researchers have found that fruit bats on either side of this line can carry Nipah virus, a pathogen that causes severe human disease.

The findings are published April 24 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Andrew Breed from the University of Queensland, Australia and colleagues from other institutions.

Previous studies have suggested that this biogeographic boundary, named Wallace's line, may have played a role in protecting Australia from the spread of the avian flu H5N1. In the current study, researchers assessed whether this boundary could restrict the distribution of Nipah virus, which has caused severe outbreaks of human and domestic animal disease in the past.

"We found evidence that Nipah Virus occurs on the eastern side of Wallace's Line and much closer to Australia than previously recognized," says Breed. "We also found that the epidemiology of Nipah virus, and related viruses, is complex and these viruses are not restricted to flying-foxes (Pteropus bats) in this region."

They found that fruit bats from regions on both sides of the line tested positive for Nipah virus and other related viruses called henipaviruses. Only certain species of fruit bats carried Nipah virus but even in their absence, other bat species could still carry these related viruses. Henipaviruses were also detected in some species not previously known to carry these viruses. Based on these results, the authors conclude that Wallace's line is not a restricting factor for the transmission of Nipah virus. Their results also extend the known regions where Nipah virus has been detected by over 2500 km, to the island of Timor.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Andrew C. Breed, Joanne Meers, Indrawati Sendow, Katharine N. Bossart, Jennifer A. Barr, Ina Smith, Supaporn Wacharapluesadee, Linfa Wang, Hume E. Field. The Distribution of Henipaviruses in Southeast Asia and Australasia: Is Wallace’s Line a Barrier to Nipah Virus? PLoS ONE, 2013; 8 (4): e61316 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0061316

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Biogeographic barrier that protects Australia from avian flu does not stop Nipah virus." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 April 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130424185155.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2013, April 24). Biogeographic barrier that protects Australia from avian flu does not stop Nipah virus. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130424185155.htm
Public Library of Science. "Biogeographic barrier that protects Australia from avian flu does not stop Nipah virus." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130424185155.htm (accessed August 29, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Friday, August 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Australian Sheep Gets Long Overdue Haircut

Raw: Australian Sheep Gets Long Overdue Haircut

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) Hoping to break the record for world's wooliest, Shaun the sheep came up 10 pounds shy with his fleece weighing over 50 pounds after being shorn for the first time in years. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Minds Blown: Scientists Develop Fish That Walk On Land

Minds Blown: Scientists Develop Fish That Walk On Land

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) Canadian scientists looking into the very first land animals took a fish out of water and forced it to walk. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fake Dogs Scare Real Geese from Wis. Park

Fake Dogs Scare Real Geese from Wis. Park

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) Parks officials in Stevens Point, Wisconsin had a fowl problem. Canadian Geese were making a mess of a park, so officials enlisted cardboard versions of man's best friend. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
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