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Novel tick-borne phlebovirus identified during outbreak investigation in Tasmania

Emerg Infect Dis. 2014;20:1040-1043

June 2, 2014

An investigation of a disease outbreak among shy albatrosses in Tasmania led to the discovery of a novel tick-borne phlebovirus with zoonotic potential, according to recent findings.

The findings underscore the need for increased scrutiny and awareness regarding these emerging diseases, researchers said. 

In the study, researchers investigated a 2002 disease outbreak in a shy albatross colony on a small island in the Hunter Island Group of northwestern Tasmania, characterized by weight loss and death. The investigators collected blood samples and ticks from healthy and diseased birds and sent them to the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization’s Australian Animal Health Laboratory in Geelong, Victoria, Australia, for testing.

First, an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and a … 

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