Document Detail


A retrospective search for lyssavirus in humans in the Northern Territory.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  10388177     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
BACKGROUND: Following the 1996 discovery of a rabies-like lyssavirus in Australian flying foxes, it was unclear whether this was a new epizootic or an unrecognised, previously existing disease. OBJECTIVE: To review cases of unexplained encephalitis in the Northern Territory (NT) to test available clinical specimens for lyssavirus and survey the use of diagnostic tests by clinicians. METHODS: The NT hospital morbidity database was searched from January 1992 to September 1996 for all Royal Darwin Hospital (RDH) cases with an ICD-9 code encompassing encephalitis or viral meningitis. Final diagnoses were determined by hospital record review. For cases of unexplained encephalitis, we assessed the use of diagnostic tests and located clinical specimens for testing for lyssavirus-specific inclusion bodies via immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence and reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). RESULTS: Encephalitis occurred in 34/154 (22%) cases located by the search; 53% (18/34) of encephalitis cases were unexplained. Of these, 24% had no serology performed and 47% had no blood cultures taken. Four (22%) died and two had autopsies. These were the only two cases with clinical specimens available for testing. They were negative for lyssavirus. None of the 71 cases coded as viral meningitis had unexplained encephalitis. CONCLUSION: There was a considerable proportion of unexplained illness among NT cases of encephalitis. IMPLICATIONS: Clinicians should test for lyssavirus in patients with encephalitic symptoms and a postmortem should be sought where death is unexplained. Specimens should be stored to enable testing for emerging infectious diseases.
Authors:
S A Skull; V Krause; C B Dalton; L A Roberts
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Australian and New Zealand journal of public health     Volume:  23     ISSN:  1326-0200     ISO Abbreviation:  Aust N Z J Public Health     Publication Date:  1999 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1999-08-05     Completed Date:  1999-08-05     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9611095     Medline TA:  Aust N Z J Public Health     Country:  AUSTRALIA    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  305-8     Citation Subset:  IM    
Affiliation:
Centre for Disease Control, Northern Territory, Australian National University, Australian Capital Territory. susan.skull@utoronto.ca
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MeSH Terms
Descriptor/Qualifier:
Diagnosis, Differential
Encephalitis / diagnosis,  epidemiology*
Humans
Lyssavirus*
Northern Territory / epidemiology
Retrospective Studies
Rhabdoviridae Infections / diagnosis,  epidemiology*

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine


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