(National Science Foundation 14 May 2013) Leptospirosis is the world’s most common illness transmitted to humans by animals. It’s a two-phase disease that begins with flu-like symptoms. If untreated, it can cause meningitis, liver damage, pulmonary hemorrhage, renal failure and death.
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ABC News Alyse Edwards 25 February 2013
Two cases of leptospirosis have been diagnosed in the wake of flooding in southern Queensland’s Wide Bay region.
Public health physician Dr Margaret Young says the disease occurs when humans come into contact with the urine of infected rodents.
She says it is common to see a few cases after floods and residents should wear protective clothing when cleaning up.
Queensland Parliament. Bills Introduced to the 54th Parliament 21 June 2012
Flying-fox populations are known to carry viruses deadly to humans: The Australian Bat Lyssavirus which is closely related to common rabies lyssavirus; Salmonella; leptospirosis; Sars; and Hendra virus. Lyssavirus has caused two human fatalities since it was discovered in Australia in 1996. More concerning is the growing number of Hendra virus outbreaks amongst horse populations and the increased exposure to humans as a result. This virus has caused over 70 horse fatalitiesa and four human fatalities since 1994, representing a 75% fatality reate in horses and a 60% fataligy rate in humans.
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Townsville Bulletin Daniel Bateman 26 May 2012
SCIENTISTS have discovered a new link between flying foxes and another potentially fatal virus.
Based on research carried out in North Queensland, the University of Queensland has found bats may be a reservoir for leptospirosis.
The bacterial disease, which was first recognised in cane cutters in Ingham in 1934, was initially believed to only be spread by rats through their urine.
Dark Daily 2 March 2012
Clinical laboratories and pathology groups should be aware of new safety guidelines that address the risk of laboratory-acquired infections (LAI). A panel of experts convened by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released safety guidelines for medical laboratoryworkers.
Link to Guidelines for Safe Work Practices in Human and Animal Medical Diagnostic Laboratories (United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. MMWR Vol 61 6 January 2012)
(European Molecular Biology Laboratory – European Bioinformatics Institute 27 February 2012) The EMBL-European Bioinformatics Institute has launched the Enzyme Portal, a new resource for people who are interested in the biology of enzymes and proteins with enzymatic activity.
Watch video about the Enzyme Portal
Link to the Enzyme Portal