ANTIGENIC AND GENETIC TYPING OF WHATAROA VIRUSES IN AUSTRALIA

SUHA M. SALEH Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland Australia; Department of Microbiology, University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, Australia; Western Australian Health Department, Perth, Western Australia, Australia; Department of Medical Entomology, Institute of Clinical Pathology and Medical Research, University of Sydney, Westmead Hospital, Westmead, New South Wales, Australia; Department of Microbiology, Prince Henry Hospital, Little Bay, New South Wales, Australia; Arthropod-Borne and Infectious Diseases Laboratory, Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado; Department of Microbiology and Immunology, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland, Australia

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MICHAEL POIDINGER Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland Australia; Department of Microbiology, University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, Australia; Western Australian Health Department, Perth, Western Australia, Australia; Department of Medical Entomology, Institute of Clinical Pathology and Medical Research, University of Sydney, Westmead Hospital, Westmead, New South Wales, Australia; Department of Microbiology, Prince Henry Hospital, Little Bay, New South Wales, Australia; Arthropod-Borne and Infectious Diseases Laboratory, Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado; Department of Microbiology and Immunology, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland, Australia

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JOHN S. MACKENZIE Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland Australia; Department of Microbiology, University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, Australia; Western Australian Health Department, Perth, Western Australia, Australia; Department of Medical Entomology, Institute of Clinical Pathology and Medical Research, University of Sydney, Westmead Hospital, Westmead, New South Wales, Australia; Department of Microbiology, Prince Henry Hospital, Little Bay, New South Wales, Australia; Arthropod-Borne and Infectious Diseases Laboratory, Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado; Department of Microbiology and Immunology, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland, Australia

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ANNETTE K. BROOM Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland Australia; Department of Microbiology, University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, Australia; Western Australian Health Department, Perth, Western Australia, Australia; Department of Medical Entomology, Institute of Clinical Pathology and Medical Research, University of Sydney, Westmead Hospital, Westmead, New South Wales, Australia; Department of Microbiology, Prince Henry Hospital, Little Bay, New South Wales, Australia; Arthropod-Borne and Infectious Diseases Laboratory, Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado; Department of Microbiology and Immunology, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland, Australia

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MICHAEL D. A. LINDSAY Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland Australia; Department of Microbiology, University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, Australia; Western Australian Health Department, Perth, Western Australia, Australia; Department of Medical Entomology, Institute of Clinical Pathology and Medical Research, University of Sydney, Westmead Hospital, Westmead, New South Wales, Australia; Department of Microbiology, Prince Henry Hospital, Little Bay, New South Wales, Australia; Arthropod-Borne and Infectious Diseases Laboratory, Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado; Department of Microbiology and Immunology, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland, Australia

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RICHARD C. RUSSELL Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland Australia; Department of Microbiology, University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, Australia; Western Australian Health Department, Perth, Western Australia, Australia; Department of Medical Entomology, Institute of Clinical Pathology and Medical Research, University of Sydney, Westmead Hospital, Westmead, New South Wales, Australia; Department of Microbiology, Prince Henry Hospital, Little Bay, New South Wales, Australia; Arthropod-Borne and Infectious Diseases Laboratory, Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado; Department of Microbiology and Immunology, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland, Australia

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MICHAEL J. CLOONAN Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland Australia; Department of Microbiology, University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, Australia; Western Australian Health Department, Perth, Western Australia, Australia; Department of Medical Entomology, Institute of Clinical Pathology and Medical Research, University of Sydney, Westmead Hospital, Westmead, New South Wales, Australia; Department of Microbiology, Prince Henry Hospital, Little Bay, New South Wales, Australia; Arthropod-Borne and Infectious Diseases Laboratory, Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado; Department of Microbiology and Immunology, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland, Australia

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CHARLES H. CALISHER Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland Australia; Department of Microbiology, University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, Australia; Western Australian Health Department, Perth, Western Australia, Australia; Department of Medical Entomology, Institute of Clinical Pathology and Medical Research, University of Sydney, Westmead Hospital, Westmead, New South Wales, Australia; Department of Microbiology, Prince Henry Hospital, Little Bay, New South Wales, Australia; Arthropod-Borne and Infectious Diseases Laboratory, Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado; Department of Microbiology and Immunology, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland, Australia

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GRAHAM W. BURGESS Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland Australia; Department of Microbiology, University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, Australia; Western Australian Health Department, Perth, Western Australia, Australia; Department of Medical Entomology, Institute of Clinical Pathology and Medical Research, University of Sydney, Westmead Hospital, Westmead, New South Wales, Australia; Department of Microbiology, Prince Henry Hospital, Little Bay, New South Wales, Australia; Arthropod-Borne and Infectious Diseases Laboratory, Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado; Department of Microbiology and Immunology, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland, Australia

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ROY A. HALL Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland Australia; Department of Microbiology, University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, Australia; Western Australian Health Department, Perth, Western Australia, Australia; Department of Medical Entomology, Institute of Clinical Pathology and Medical Research, University of Sydney, Westmead Hospital, Westmead, New South Wales, Australia; Department of Microbiology, Prince Henry Hospital, Little Bay, New South Wales, Australia; Arthropod-Borne and Infectious Diseases Laboratory, Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado; Department of Microbiology and Immunology, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland, Australia

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We recently characterized three novel alphaviruses isolated from mosquitoes captured in New South Wales, Australia. Initial cross-neutralization studies revealed antigenic similarity to the Sindbis virus (SINV)–like Whataroa virus (WHAV), heretofore found only in New Zealand. Nucleotide sequence analysis showed that the WHAV-like viruses shared >99% nucleotide sequence similarity with each other, and 96–97% similarity with prototype WHAV. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay reactions of a panel of monoclonal antibodies to SINV showed that the novel WHAV-like viruses displayed identical binding patterns and were antigenically distinct from all SINV isolates examined. Although these viruses displayed a similar binding pattern to prototype WHAV, three monoclonal antibodies discriminated them from the New Zealand virus. Our results suggest that these novel alphaviruses are antigenic variants of WHAV and represent the first reported isolations of this virus from outside New Zealand. The monoclonal antibodies used in this study will be useful for typing new SINV and SINV-like isolates.

Author Notes

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