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Open AccessArticle

On the Home Front: Specialised Reference Testing for Dengue in the Australasian Region

1
Public Health Virology Laboratory, Forensic and Scientific Services, Coopers Plains, QLD 4108, Australia
2
Institute of Environmental Science and Research Limited, Wallaceville, 5018 Upper Hutt, New Zealand
3
Child Health Research Centre, The University of Queensland, South Brisbane, QLD 4101, Australia
4
Metro North Public Health Unit, Metro North Hospital and Health Service, Queensland Health, Windsor, QLD 4030, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(3), 75; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3030075
Received: 29 May 2018 / Revised: 29 June 2018 / Accepted: 10 July 2018 / Published: 15 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epidemiology of Dengue: Past, Present and Future)
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Abstract

Reference laboratories are vital for disease control and interpreting the complexities and impact of emerging pathogens. The role of these centralized facilities extends beyond routine screening capabilities to provide rapid, specific, and accurate diagnoses, advanced data analysis, consultation services, and sophisticated disease surveillance and monitoring. Within the Australasian region, the Public Health Virology Laboratory (PHV), Forensic and Scientific Services, Department of Health, Queensland Government, Australia, and the Institute of Environmental Science and Research Limited (ESR), New Zealand (NZ) perform specialised reference testing and surveillance for dengue viruses (DENVs) and other emerging arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses), including chikungunya virus (CHIKV) and Zika virus (ZIKV). With a focus on DENV, we review the reference testing performed by PHV (2005 to 2017) and ESR (2008 to 2017). We also describe how the evolution and expansion of reference-based methodologies and the adoption of new technologies have provided the critical elements of preparedness and early detection that complement frontline public health control efforts and limit the spread of arboviruses within Australasia. View Full-Text
Keywords: dengue; dengue virus; arbovirus; chikungunya virus; Zika virus; reference laboratory; real-time RT-PCR; ELISA; microsphere immunoassay; luminex; genotyping; whole genome sequencing dengue; dengue virus; arbovirus; chikungunya virus; Zika virus; reference laboratory; real-time RT-PCR; ELISA; microsphere immunoassay; luminex; genotyping; whole genome sequencing
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    Doi: doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.6193073.v3
    Link: https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.6193073.v3
    Description: Figure adapted and used with permission, Microbiology Australia ( Pyke, A. T.; The origins of dengue outbreaks in northern Queensland, Australia, 1990-2017. Microbiol. Aus. 2018, 39. Doi: 10.1071/MA18027). Data includes secondary outbreaks which resulted from further spread of imported DENV strains into new Queensland locations. (a) A timeline summarizing the occurrence of northern Queensland outbreaks between 1990 and 2017 based on circulating DENV 1-4 serotypes. The sustained DENV-3 outbreak in 1997-1999 is represented by an elongated ellipse symbol. (b) The number of northern Queensland outbreaks occurring between 1990 and 2017 are plotted against the location (region traveled from or residence, given as specific country or broader regional classification where country data was unavailable) of DENV RT-rtPCR/RT-PCR positive patients. The most likely geographical source of outbreaks was inferred following phylogenetic analysis.
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Pyke, A.T.; Gunn, W.; Taylor, C.; Mackay, I.M.; McMahon, J.; Jelley, L.; Waite, B.; May, F. On the Home Front: Specialised Reference Testing for Dengue in the Australasian Region. Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3, 75.

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