Public health virology
We provide a statewide diagnostic and tertiary referral service for viral and rickettsial diseases. We investigate all outbreaks of viral diseases of public health significance in Queensland. We maintain the capacity to respond to any public health crisis involving emerging or re-emerging viruses and rickettsiae.
Our facility includes high containment laboratories registered and approved by the Department of Agriculture and The Office of the Gene Technology Regulator. This allows us to work with viruses that cannot be handled within a normal laboratory or that are exotic to Australia. We also conduct research into zoonoses, emerging viruses and arboviruses, including studies into the potential for native and exotic vectors to transmit arboviral diseases.
Diagnostic and reference services
Examples of viruses we provide diagnostic and reference services for:
- Measles—samples from suspected measles cases (usually swabs and/or urine) are tested for the presence of the virus. Results can indicate whether the patient has a wild-type measles infection or vaccine-strain infection.
- Norovirus—faecal samples are collected from outbreaks of vomiting and diarrhoea which often occur in nursing homes or childcare centres. These are tested for the presence of norovirus which causes viral gastroenteritis.
- Dengue—samples are collected from patients who may have been exposed. Blood samples are tested for the presence of virus and antibodies to the dengue virus. If the virus or antibodies are detected it is often possible to determine the serotype of the infecting dengue virus. Genotyping can be used to track sources of infections to know hot spots around the globe and to monitor the spread of outbreaks.
Collaborate or partner with us
We value research partnerships and aim to work together in research and education to better understand viruses and rickettsiae. Past collaborations have included preparing joint grant applications, establishing centres of excellence, participating in staff exchanges and providing access to our state-of-the-art equipment. To collaborate or partner with us contact Client Services and Liaison on 1800 000 377.