New bat virus could hold key to Hendra virus
This shows cells infected with Hendra virus (left) and with Cedar virus (right). Hendra virus is the more effective at fusing cells (circled) and spreading its infection. More individual cells remain intact (circled) with Cedar virus and it doesn’t spread nearly as extensively. Credit: CSIRO
Australian scientists have discovered a new virus in bats that could help shed light on how Hendra and Nipah viruses cause disease and death in animals and humans. The new virus - named 'Cedar' after the Queensland location where it was discovered - is a close relative of the deadly Hendra and Nipah viruses.
However, CSIRO's initial studies have discovered one surprising key difference - the Cedar virus does not cause illness in several animal species normally susceptible to Hendra and Nipah.
This tantalising difference may help scientists understand how to better manage and control its deadly cousins. The findings have been announced today in the journal, PLoS Pathogens, published by the Public Library of Science.
Mr Gary Crameri, research scientist with the bat virus team at CSIRO's Australian Animal Health Laboratory in Geelong, Victoria, said the new discovery had significant potential implications for protecting animals and humans from the Hendra and Nipah viruses.
This video is not supported by your browser at this time.
Gary Crameri, part of CSIRO’s bat virus team, discusses Cedar virus. Credit: CSIRO"The significance of discovering a new henipavirus that doesn't cause disease is that it may help us narrow down what it is about the genetic makeup of viruses like Hendra and Nipah that does cause disease and death," Mr Crameri said.
"The more that we can learn about bat-borne viruses, the better chance we have of developing anti-virals and vaccines to help protect human health, Australia's livestock industry and our export trade from the threat of current and emerging animal diseases.
"Over 70 per cent of people and animals infected with Hendra and Nipah viruses die. This ranks henipaviruses amongst the deadliest viruses in existence, yet little is known about just how such viruses actually cause disease or death."
It is still too early to rule out the possibility that Cedar virus may cause illness and death in horses or other animals.
The discovery was a result of a close partnership with Biosecurity Queensland which played an important role by collecting and screening samples from bat colonies across Queensland.
"Field work with bats is an essential part of research into identifying new viruses," Dr Hume Field of Biosecurity Queensland said. "Bats are being implicated as the natural host of a growing number of viruses in Australia and overseas, yet they appear to tolerate infection themselves making bat research increasingly important."
Bats have been identified as playing a role in the spread of viruses including Ebola, Marburg, SARS and Melaka yet they are an essential part of our diverse ecosystem through their role as pollinators, seed dispersers and insect regulators.
Journal reference: PLoS Pathogens
Provided by CSIRO
- Discovery in Africa gives insight for Australian Hendra virus outbreaks Jan 12, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Scientists Develop Vaccine Against Deadly Viruses Oct 04, 2006 | not rated yet | 0
- Key to controlling deadly viruses in bat community Feb 15, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Griffith University tackles deadly Hendra virus Jun 04, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Breakthrough in fight against Hendra virus Oct 30, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras
Apr 15, 2011 I'd like to open a discussion thread for version 2 of the draft of my book ''Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras'', available online at http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/0810.1019 , and for the...
- More from Physics Forums - Independent Research
More news stories
A new case of the deadly coronavirus has been detected in Saudi Arabia where 15 people have already died after contracting it, the health ministry announced on Saturday on its Internet website.
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes 3 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
(HealthDay)—Few randomized clinical trials have been done to assess clinical prediction rules for patients with lower back pain, and the trials that have been done are of low quality and do not provide ...
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes May 17, 2013 | not rated yet | 0 |
A new, highly sensitive blood test that quickly detects even the lowest levels of malaria parasites in the body could make a dramatic difference in efforts to tackle the disease in the UK and across the world, according to ...
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes May 17, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
(AP)—The World Health Organization says a yellow fever booster vaccination given 10 years after the initial shot isn't necessary.
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes May 17, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
An increasing number of U.S. children are experiencing gastrointestinal issues that require interventions to resolve, according to research presented at Digestive Disease Week (DDW).
5 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
The latest makeover to a massive psychiatric tome honored by some, reviled by others and even called the "Bible" of mental disorders is being released Saturday with a host of new changes.
3 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Big names in medicine are set to give an upbeat assessment of the war on AIDS on Tuesday, 30 years after French researchers identified the virus that causes the disease.
13 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
For combat veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, 'fear circuitry' in the brain never rests
Chronic trauma can inflict lasting damage to brain regions associated with fear and anxiety. Previous imaging studies of people with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, have shown that these brain regions can over-or ...
14 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |
A ground-breaking advance in colonoscopy technology signals the future of colorectal care, according to research presented today at Digestive Disease Week(DDW). Additional research focuses on optimizing the minimal withdrawal ...
5 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
In 2008 researchers from the University of Southern Denmark showed that the drug thioridazine, which has previously been used to treat schizophrenia, is also a powerful weapon against antibiotic-resistant bacteria such as ...
23 hours ago | 3.7 / 5 (3) | 0 |