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Blood safety

Recent studies

Monitoring emerging diseases: Hepatitis E, Babesia, Q fever

To keep track of emerging risks, Dr Helen Faddy and her team in Brisbane used a combination of blood tests (measuring antibodies nucleic acids in blood), demographic data and computer modelling to estimate the risk posed by emerging diseases. Read more

Detecting dengue fever with fluorescent nanoparticles

Dengue fever is a serious mosquito-borne infectious disease that is present in more countries and infecting more people than it was a decade ago. Dengue viruses can be transmitted by blood transfusion and during local epidemics they pose a risk to the safety of Australia’s blood supply. Currently no commercial blood screening assays are available for the disease.

This project will use magnetic nanoparticles coated with ‘bait’ molecules to attempt to develop a test to detect three markers of dengue fever simultaneously in a sensitive fluorescent assay suitable for blood samples. 

What does climate change mean for dengue fever in Australia?

Dengue fever is transmitted between humans by the bite of infected mosquitoes. Both the mosquito and the virus (and hence transmission of the disease) are sensitive to conditions including temperature and rainfall. During dengue outbreaks, donors from affected areas are unable to give blood. Therefore, any increase in frequency of dengue outbreaks in Northern Queensland may impact blood supplies in Queensland. This project will develop an improved method of modelling future climate-related changes in dengue occurrence to help Australia’s health system adapt to changing climate,

Selected Publications

Faddy HM, Prow NA, Fryk JJ, Hall RA, Keil SD, Goodrich RP, Marks DC: The effect of riboflavin and ultraviolet light on the infectivity of arboviruses. Transfusion 2014. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25370822

Faddy HM, Seed CR, Faddy MJ, Flower RL, Harley RJ: Malaria antibody persistence correlates with duration of exposure. Vox Sang 2013, 104(4):292-298. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23134513

Faddy HM, Seed CR, Fryk JJ, Hyland CA, Ritchie SA, Taylor CT, Van Der Merwe KL, Flower RLP, WJH M: Implications of Dengue Outbreaks for Blood Supply, Australia. Emerging Infect Dis 2013, 19(5):787-789. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23648012

Faddy H, Seed C, Lau C, Racloz V, Flower R, Smythe L, Burns MA, Dohnt M, Craig S, Harley R et al: Antibodies to Leptospira among blood donors in higher-risk areas of Australia: possible implications for transfusion safety. Blood transfusion = Trasfusione del sangue 2014:1-5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24960651

Lancini D, Faddy HM, Flower R, Hogan C: Cytomegalovirus disease in immunocompetent adults. Med J Aust 2014, 201(10):578-580http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25390262

McVernon J, Laurie K, Faddy H, Irving D, Nolan T, Barr I, Kelso A: Seroprevalence of antibody to influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 attributed to vaccination or infection, before and after the second (2010) pandemic wave in Australia. Influenza and other respiratory viruses 2014, 8(2):194-200. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24382379

Prow NA, Hewlett EK, Faddy HM, Coiacetto F, Wang W, Cox T, Hall RA, Bielefeldt-Ohmann H: The Australian Public is Still Vulnerable to Emerging Virulent Strains of West Nile Virus. Front Public Health 2014, 2:146. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25279370

Viennet E, Knope K, Faddy HM, Williams CR, Harley D: Assessing the threat of chikungunya virus emergence in Australia. Communicable diseases intelligence quarterly report 2013, 37(2):E136-143. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24168087

Viennet E, Ritchie SA, Faddy HM, Williams CR, Harley D: Epidemiology of dengue in a high-income country: a case study in Queensland, Australia. Parasites & vectors 2014, 7(1):379. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25138897

Williams SA, Richards JS, Faddy HM, Leydon J, Moran R, Nicholson S, Perry F, Paskin R, Catton M, Lester R et al: Low seroprevalence of Murray Valley Encephalitis and Kunjin viruses in an opportunistic serosurvey, Victoria 2011. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health 2013, 37(5):427-433. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24090325