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Virulent measles virus in Australia

Ed Rybicki ED at molbiol.uct.ac.za
Mon Apr 10 02:40:01 EST 1995

> From:          ldbyron at indirect.com (James Steven Garrett)
> Subject:       Re: Virulent measles virus in Australia

> : Has anyone heard about a more virulent form of measles virus being
> : isolated in Australia?  If so, who are the researchers that did the
> Indeed; apparently the virus spread from horses to humans, and wiped out 
> a village of aborigines in Australia. Incubation within 6-8 hours, 100% 
> mortality; bloody froth from the nose, ad nauseum. Doesn't God ever 
> invent a tidy virus? Sheesh. 
> As you can see, I haven't much more than the apocrypha coming off the 

Too right!!  Right here, on this newsgroup, this sort of rubbish was 
PRE-EMPTED.  I enclose a reply to a previous post.
From:                 Self <MOLBIOL/ED>
To:                     honery at cc.usu.edu (D. barnard)
Subject:           Re: Virulent measles virus in Australia
Send reply to:    ed at molbiol.uct.ac.za
Date sent:            Mon, 10 Apr 1995 09:30:28

> Subject:       Virulent measles virus in Australia
> From:          honery at cc.usu.edu (D. barnard)

> Has anyone heard about a more virulent form of measles virus being
> isolated in Australia?  If so, who are the researchers that did the
> identification and  isolation?

Wasn't measles: was a virus unfecting horses RELATED to measles ( a 
morbillivirus).  We had the news clip here too, MONTHS after it got 
onto the Net.  Here is an excerpt for you from my Microbiology Dept 
Web site (http://www.uct.ac.za/microbiology/morbilli.html)
>     ------------------------------------------------------------------------

> In response to misinformation on the Net, Dr Paul Morley posted the
> following:
>     ------------------------------------------------------------------------

> To: virology at net.bio.net
> From: Morley at admin3.usask.ca (Paul Morley)
> Subject: Re: horse disease in Australia
> Date: Thu, 8 Dec 1994 09:28:37
> This was thought to be caused by a
> morbillivirus.  I have attached a posting from the chief veterinary officer 

> Australia to the OIE.
> Paul Morley
>     ------------------------------------------------------------------------

> 12 October 1994
> Dr Jean Blancou
> Director General
> Office International des Epizooties
> Dear Dr Blancou
> Acute Equine Respiratory Syndrome in Brisbane, Queensland
> I would like to inform you of a condition which has occurred in the
> period from 7 to 26 September 1994, during which fourteen thoroughbred
> horses died or were euthanased after becoming seriously ill with an
> "acute equine respiratory syndrome".
> The condition has been restricted to properties directly associated
> with 1 stable in the suburb of Hendra in Brisbane 
> Aetiology
> The Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL) and the Animal Research
> Institute, Queensland have isolated the same virus from 5 cases. Since
> the initial virus isolation, all further work with potentially
> infective material has been undertaken at AAHL. Studies at AAHL have
> shown this virus (AERS virus) belongs to the Paramyxoviridae family
> and may be a member of the Morbillivirus genus. Evidence for this
> includes:
>       electron microscopy shows a nucleocapsid with a herring bone
>      pattern typical of the Paramyxoviridae;
>       AERS virus haemagglutinates guinea pig red cells but results are
>      variable with red cells from other species;
>       AERS virus does not possess neuraminidase which is consistent
>      with the Morbillivirus genus;
>       nucleotide sequencing studies suggest that the virus is a
>      Morbillivirus but work is continuing in this area;
>       immunofluorescent antibody studies on virus infected monolayers
>      using antibodies to turkey rhinotracheitis, rinderpest, Newcastle
>      disease, respiratory syncitial, mumps, measles, canine distemper,
>      and parainfluenza 3 viruses were negative;
>       immuno electron microscopy shows virus nucleocapsids to bind to
>      labelled antibody to the isolated virus.
>       Antibodies to parainfluenza types 1, 2 and 3 produce low level
>      binding.
> Transmission tests in 4 horses at AAHL have shown the isolated virus
> is the cause of the syndrome. Evidence for this includes:
>       no bacterial pathogen or toxin could be detected; African horse
>      sickness, equine influenza, equine herpes virus, equine viral
>      arteritis and the equine viral encephalitides were eliminated;
>       AERS virus was isolated from the lungs of 5 to 6 cases;
>       specific antibody to AERS virus is present in 4 recovered cases
>      and 3 in-contacts believed to have suffered a very mild and
>      transient illness, but not in other horses;
>       positive transmission tests to 4 horses, 2 of which received
>      pure virus culture, with subsequent recovery of the virus at
>      autopsy.
> Natural History
> The incubation period in the natural cases was mostly 8 to 11 days
> with a maximum possible of 16 days. With the AAHL transmission tests,
> the incubation period was 3-12 days. Two suspect human cases had a
> putative incubation period of 5-8 days.
> All the other cases (20) in horses and the suspect human cases can be
> linked to the original index case which was first observed sick on 7
> September and died on 9 September.
> From the pathogenesis, clinical picture and pattern of spread, natural
> transmission is most likely direct via frothy nasal discharges as a
> consequence of close contact or mechanical transfer. Aerosol
> transmission seems unlikely - the upper respiratory tract does not
> have lesions and coughing is not a feature of the syndrome.
> Available evidence suggests that this virus is not highly contagious
> under conditions of natural transmission.
> To date there is no evidence as to the possible source of the virus.
> Public Health
> The trainer of the horses also became affected with a severe
> respiratory condition and died on the 27 September 1994. The trainer,
> a stablehand, and the consulting veterinarian have seroconverted to
> the isolated virus. The stablehand exhibited influenza-like symptoms,
> but the veterinarian remained in normal health.
> Blood samples from 18 other humans associated with this suburban
> location have remained sero-negative.
> Transmission is believed to have been caused by very close contact
> with infected horses, for example hands in the mouth, and close
> contact with infected saliva.
> The Queensland Director of Public Health has assured the general
> public that there is no public health risk from the equine virus.
> I will keep you informed as further information becomes available.
> Yours sincerely
> Australian Chief Veterinary Officer
>     ------------------------------------------------------------------------

> Paul S. Morley
> Department of Veterinary Internal Medicine
> Western College of Veterinary Medicine
> University of Saskatchewan
> Saskatoon, Saskatchewan  S7N 0W0  CANADA
> E-mail: Morley at Admin3.Usask.CA
> Telephone: (306)966-7178
> Fax: (306)966-7174

 |     Ed Rybicki, PhD      |  ed at molbiol.uct.ac.za   |
 |    Dept Microbiology     | University of Cape Town |
 | Private Bag, Rondebosch  |   7700, South Africa    |
 |   fax: x27-21-650 4023   | phone: x27-21-650-3265  |
 ------WWW URL: http://www.uct.ac.za/microbiology------
   "And the man in the suit has just bought a new car
      From the profit he's made on your dreams..."

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