Ina L. Smith

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BACKGROUND Leptospirosis is an emerging infectious disease. The differential diagnosis of leptospirosis is difficult due to the varied and often "flu like" symptoms which may result in a missed or delayed diagnosis. There are over 230 known serovars in the genus Leptospira. Confirmatory serological diagnosis of leptospirosis is usually made using the(More)
A recent Hendra virus outbreak at a veterinary clinic in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, involved 5 equine and 2 human infections. In contrast to previous outbreaks, infected horses had predominantly encephalitic, rather than respiratory, signs. After an incubation period of 9-16 days, influenza-like illnesses developed in the 2 persons before progressing(More)
A veterinarian became infected with Hendra virus (HeV) after managing a terminally ill horse and performing a limited autopsy with inadequate precautions. Although she was initially only mildly ill, serological tests suggested latent HeV infection. Nevertheless, she remains well 2 years after her initial illness. Recently emerged zoonotic viruses, such as(More)
Viruses that originate in bats may be the most notorious emerging zoonoses that spill over from wildlife into domestic animals and humans. Understanding how these infections filter through ecological systems to cause disease in humans is of profound importance to public health. Transmission of viruses from bats to humans requires a hierarchy of enabling(More)
Bats are being increasingly recognized as an important reservoir of zoonotic viruses of different families, including SARS coronavirus, Nipah virus, Hendra virus and Ebola virus. Several recent studies hypothesized that bats, an ancient group of flying mammals, are the major reservoir of several important RNA virus families from which other mammalian(More)
Hendra virus is a recently emerged zoonotic agent in Australia. Since first described in 1994, the virus has spilled from its wildlife reservoir (pteropid fruit bats, or 'flying foxes') on multiple occasions causing equine and human fatalities. We undertook a three-year longitudinal study to detect virus in the urine of free-living flying foxes (a putative(More)
The development of single, sensitive, fluorogenic reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (TaqMan) assays were required for the rapid and specific detection of three encephalitic viruses found in the Australasian region, namely; Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV), Murray Valley encephalitis virus (MVEV), and Kunjin virus (KUNV). Primers and a(More)
A rapid and sensitive one-tube RT-PCR assay using a fluorogenic (TaqMan) probe was developed to improve the diagnosis of Hendra virus (HeV) infection. The TaqMan assay was developed to rapidly and specifically identify Hendra virus. The sensitivity of the new TaqMan-based PCR assay compared favourably with conventional RT-PCR. The major advantage of the(More)
BACKGROUND Australian bat lyssavirus (ABLV) has been transmitted to humans following a scratch or bite from an infected bat in two cases. Following a scratch or bite to a person, the bat is usually submitted for testing and diagnosis is made using a direct fluorescent antibody test on a brain smear. A nested RT-PCR assay has also been utilised to confirm(More)
Australian bat lyssavirus (ABLV), which occurs in pteropid and insectivorous bat populations, causes a rabies-like encephalitis in infected humans. We report the first complete sequence of an ABLV isolate obtained from a human who developed symptoms 27 months after being bitten by an infected flying fox. This isolate is the smallest lyssavirus to be(More)