Studies of measles viruses circulating in Australia between 1999 and 2001 reveals a new genotype

Doris Chibo, Michaela Riddell, Michael Catton, Michael Lyon, Gary Lum, Christopher Birch

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Nineteen distinct measles virus (MV) strains associated with nine different genotypes were identified in five Australian states (Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, Northern Territory and Western Australia) between 1999 and 2001. One of the strains identified is likely to represent a new genotype within the clade D viruses (proposed to be d9). No evidence for an indigenous MV strain was found. When epidemiologic information associated with the index case was available for the outbreaks, it usually supported introduction of the virus from overseas, with the main source being South East Asia. Changes in the circulation of MV in Australia since the early 1970s were also observed. Prior to the introduction of measles vaccine, the majority of the population acquired immunity through infection with wild-type virus in early childhood. Nowadays in Australia, young adults are at most risk of infection. The age range of cases in the study period was from 1 month to 48 years, with the majority (59%) of cases from individuals aged 18-30 years.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-221
Number of pages9
JournalVirus Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2003


  • Australia
  • Genotype d9
  • Measles virus
  • Molecular surveillance

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