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Published Resources Details Journal Article

Doherty, R.L.
Surveys of Haemagglutination-Inhibiting Antibody to Arboviruses in Aborigines and other Population Groups in Northern and Eastern Australia, 1966-1971
Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
vol. 67, no. 2, 1973, pp. 197-205

Surveys of Aboriginal settlements by haemagglutination-inhibition tests against arboviruses of Groups A and B showed very low prevalence of antibody in eastern Queensland, very high prevalence in north-west Queensland and some settlements in the Northern Territory, and intermediate prevalence at other settlements in the Northern Territory. Sera from about 1500 patients received from the general community of east coastal Queensland for diagnostic serological tests, but with no evidence of current arbovirus infection, showed some differences in age distribution of antibody between Ross River virus of Group A (with prevalence rising to a plateau level of 50% from age 30) and Group B (with few reactions in younger age groups and steady rise in prevalence from age 20 to almost 90% beyond age 60).

Sets of sera reactive to one Group B arbovirus were titrated by haemagglutination-inhibition test to 8 members of the Group; mean titres to each virus were computed and compared. 2 distinct patterns of response were defined, reacting significantly to both dengue and Murray Valley encephalitis subgroups (east coastal Queensland), or only to the Murray Valley encephalitis subgroup (north-west Queensland and Northern Territory). These findings, the history of extensive epidemics of dengue in eastern Queensland, and other laboratory studies described in this and previous papers, suggest that the broadly-reactive antibody is due to dengue infection. The long persistence of high-titre, broadly reactive antibody after dengue infection in Queensland and elsewhere is seen as an interesting phenomenon worthy of further study.

Most of the many reactions to Group A viruses detected in the study were clearly to Ross River virus, but 15 patients gave serological results suggesting past infection with Sindbis virus. One of the 15 had rising titres following a mild febrile illness with lymphadenopathy and rash, suggesting that Sindbis virus may have caused the illness.


Related Archival resources


  • Printed Material and DVD, 1970 - 2014, PUB 71-80; National Centre for Indigenous Genomics. Details