Michelle Wille

Michelle Wille
The University of Sydney · School of Life and Environmental Science

PhD

About

237
Publications
15,529
Reads
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1,297
Citations
Additional affiliations
December 2016 - May 2020
WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza
Position
  • PostDoc Position
October 2015 - November 2016
Uppsala University
Position
  • PostDoc Position
April 2011 - May 2015
Linnaeus University
Position
  • PhD Student

Publications

Publications (237)
Article
Full-text available
Environmental RNA viruses are ubiquitous and diverse, and probably have important ecological and biogeochemical impacts. Understanding the global diversity of RNA viruses is limited by sampling biases, dependence on cell culture and PCR for virus discovery, and a focus on viruses pathogenic to humans or economically important animals and plants. To...
Article
Full-text available
Seasonal long-distance migratory behaviour of trillions of animals may in part have evolved to reduce parasite infection risk, and the fitness costs that may come with these infections. This may apply to a diversity of vertebrate migration strategies that can sometimes be observed within species and may often be age-dependent. Herein we review some...
Article
Full-text available
Most of our understanding of the ecology and evolution of avian influenza A virus (AIV) in wild birds is derived from studies conducted in the northern hemisphere on waterfowl, with a substantial bias towards dabbling ducks. However, relevant environmental conditions and patterns of avian migration and reproduction are substantially different in th...
Article
Unprecedented outbreaks of the H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza virus raise concern
Article
The risk for the emergence of novel viral zoonotic diseases in animals and humans in Uganda is high given its geographical location with high biodiversity. We aimed to identify and characterize viruses in 175 blood samples from cattle selected in Uganda using molecular approaches. We identified 8 viral species belonging to 4 families (Flaviviridae,...
Preprint
Host susceptibility to parasites is mediated by intrinsic and external factors such as genetics, age or season. While key features have been revealed for avian influenza A virus (AIV) in waterfowl of the Northern Hemisphere, the role of host phylogeny has received limited attention. Herein, we analysed 12339 oropharyngeal and cloacal swabs and 1082...
Preprint
The risk for the emergence of novel viral zoonotic diseases in animals and humans in Uganda is high given its geographical location with high biodiversity. We aimed to identify and characterize viruses in 175 blood samples from cattle selected in Uganda using molecular approaches. We identified 8 viral species belonging to 4 families ( Flaviviridae...
Preprint
Full-text available
Most of our understanding of the ecology and evolution of avian influenza A virus (AIV) in wild birds is derived from studies conducted in the northern hemisphere on waterfowl, with a substantial bias towards dabbling ducks. However, relevant environmental conditions and patterns of avian migration and reproduction are substantially different in th...
Preprint
Full-text available
Avian influenza A virus (AIV) is ubiquitous in waterfowl, and detected annually at high prevalence in waterfowl during the Northern Hemipshere autumn. Some AIV subtypes are globally common in waterfowl, such as H3N8, H4N6, and H6N2, and are detected in the same populations at high frequency, annually. In order to investigate genetic features associ...
Preprint
Canine distemper virus (CDV) is a highly contagious systemic viral disease of dogs, that regularly spills-over into other animal species. Despite widespread vaccination, CDV remains endemic in many parts of the world. In this study we report an outbreak of distemper in ferrets in two independent research facilities in Australia. We found that disea...
Article
Full-text available
Studies of parasitism in chinstrap penguins (Pygoscelis antarctica) are infrequent and mainly refer to the identification and description of its parasites, with little ecological data. In an attempt to address that lack of knowledge, we collected endo- and ecto-parasites from 326 live and four dead of chinstrap penguins, in three different localiti...
Article
Despite the ongoing interest in virus discovery, little is known about the factors that shape communities of viruses within individual hosts. Here, we address how virus communities might be impacted by the age of the hosts they infect, using total RNA sequencing to reveal the RNA viromes of different age groups of Ruddy Turnstones (Arenaria interpr...
Article
Members of the Picornaviridae family comprise a significant burden on the poultry industry, causing diseases such as gastroenteritis and hepatitis. However, with the advent of metagenomics, a number of picornaviruses have now been revealed in apparently healthy wild birds. In this study, we identified four novel viruses belonging to the family Pico...
Article
Full-text available
Identifying the animal reservoirs from which zoonotic viruses will likely emerge is central to understanding the determinants of disease emergence. Accordingly, there has been an increase in studies attempting zoonotic “risk assessment.” Herein, we demonstrate that the virological data on which these analyses are conducted are incomplete, biased, a...
Article
Full-text available
Revealing the determinants of virome composition is central to placing disease emergence in a broader evolutionary context. Fish are the most species-rich group of vertebrates and so provide an ideal model system to study the factors that shape virome compositions and their evolution. We characterised the viromes of 19 wild-caught species of marine...
Preprint
Full-text available
Influenza A virus (IAV) pandemics result from interspecies transmission events within the avian reservoir and further to mammals including humans. Investigating molecular virus–host interactions dictating this process and the adaptations to the new hosts that follow is vital to understand zoonotic IAV spread. Receptor incompatibility has been sugge...
Preprint
Full-text available
Members of the Picornaviridae comprise a significant burden on the poultry industry, causing diseases such as gastroenteritis and hepatitis. However, with the advent of metagenomics, a number of picornaviruses have now been revealed in apparently healthy wild birds. In this study, we identified four novel viruses belonging to the family Picornaviri...
Article
Full-text available
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). This pathogen has spread rapidly across the world, causing high numbers of deaths and significant social and economic impacts. SARS-CoV-2 is a novel coronavirus with a suggested zoonotic origin with the potential for cross...
Article
Full-text available
Influenza viruses (family Orthomyxoviridae) infect a variety of vertebrates, including birds, humans, and other mammals. Recent metatranscriptomic studies have uncovered divergent influenza viruses in amphibians, fish and jawless vertebrates, suggesting that these viruses may be widely distributed. We sought to identify additional vertebrate influe...
Preprint
Full-text available
Influenza viruses (family Orthomyxoviridae) infect a variety of vertebrates, including birds, humans, and other mammals. Recent metatranscriptomic studies have uncovered divergent influenza viruses in amphibians, fish and jawless vertebrates, suggesting that these viruses may be widely distributed. We sought to identify additional vertebrate influe...
Preprint
Full-text available
Host age influences the ecology of many microorganisms. This is evident in one-host - one virus systems, such as influenza A virus in Mallards, but also in community studies of parasites and microbiomes. We used a meta-transcriptomic approach to assess whether host age is associated with differences in the abundance and diversity of avian viromes....
Preprint
Full-text available
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has spread rapidly to most parts of the world, causing high numbers of deaths and significant social and economic impacts. SARS-CoV-2 is a novel coronavirus with a suggested zoonotic origin and with the potential for cross-s...
Preprint
Full-text available
Identifying the animal reservoirs from which zoonotic viruses will likely emerge is central to understanding the determinants of disease emergence. Accordingly, there has been an increase in studies performing zoonotic risk assessment. Herein, we demonstrate that the virological data on which these analyses are conducted are highly biased, incomple...
Article
Full-text available
Wild birds interconnect all parts of the globe through annual cycles of migration with little respect for country or continental borders. Although wild birds are reservoir hosts for a high diversity of gamma- and deltacoronaviruses, we have little understanding of the ecology or evolution of any of these viruses. In this review we use genome sequen...
Preprint
Full-text available
Identifying the components of host ecology that promote virus diversity is crucial for our understanding of the drivers of virus evolution and disease emergence. As the most species rich group of vertebrates that exhibit diverse ecologies, fish provide an ideal model system to study the impacts of host ecology on the composition of their viromes. T...
Article
Full-text available
There is an increasing demand for accurate and fast metagenome classifiers that can not only identify bacteria, but all members of a microbial community. We used a recently developed concept in read mapping to develop a highly accurate metagenomic classification pipeline named CCMetagen. The pipeline substantially outperforms other commonly used so...
Article
Full-text available
Despite its isolation and extreme climate, Antarctica is home to diverse fauna and associated microorganisms. It has been proposed that the most iconic Antarctic animal, the penguin, experiences low pathogen pressure, accounting for their disease susceptibility in foreign environments. There is, however, a limited understanding of virome diversity...
Article
Full-text available
Canine respiratory coronavirus (CRCoV) has been identified as a causative agent of canine infectious respiratory disease, an upper respiratory infection affecting dogs. The epidemiology is currently opaque, with an unclear understanding of global prevalence, pathology, and genetic characteristics. In this study, Swedish privately-owned dogs with ch...
Article
The patterns and processes of influenza virus evolution are of fundamental importance, underpinning such traits as the propensity to emerge in new host species and the ability to rapidly generate antigenic variation. Herein, we review key aspects of the ecology and evolution of influenza viruses. We begin with an exploration of the origins of influ...
Article
Neuraminidase inhibitors (NAIs) are the gold standard treatment for influenza A virus (IAV). Oseltamivir is mostly used, followed by zanamivir (ZA). NAIs are not readily degraded in conventional wastewater treatment plants and can be detected in aquatic environments. Waterfowl are natural IAV hosts and replicating IAVs could thus be exposed to NAIs...
Preprint
Full-text available
Despite its isolation and extreme climate, Antarctica is home to diverse fauna and associated microorganisms. It has been proposed that the most iconic Antarctic animal, the penguin, experiences low pathogen pressure, accounting for their disease susceptibility in foreign environments. However, there is a limited understanding of virome diversity i...
Article
The spillover of viruses from wildlife into agricultural animals or humans has profound socioeconomic and public health impact. Vampire bats, found throughout South America, feed directly on humans and other animals and are an important reservoir for zoonotic viruses, including rabies virus. This has resulted in considerable effort in understanding...
Article
Full-text available
Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5Nx viruses of the goose/Guangdong/96 lineage continue to cause outbreaks in poultry and wild birds globally. Shorebirds, known reservoirs of avian influenza viruses, migrate from Siberia to Australia along the East-Asian-Australasian Flyway. We examined whether migrating shorebirds spending nonbreeding sea...
Article
Full-text available
Avian influenza viruses (AIVs) continue to impose a negative impact on animal and human health worldwide. In particular, the emergence of highly pathogenic AIV H5 and, more recently, the emergence of low pathogenic AIV H7N9 has led to enormous socio-economical losses in the poultry industry and resulted in fatal human infections. While H5N1 remains...
Article
Full-text available
Hepatitis delta virus (HDV) is the smallest known RNA virus, encoding a single protein. Until recently, HDV had only been identified in humans, where it is strongly associated with co-infection with hepatitis B virus (HBV). However, the recent discovery of HDV-like viruses in metagenomic samples from birds and snakes suggests that this virus has a...
Article
Full-text available
Models of host-microbe dynamics typically assume a single-host population infected by a single pathogen. In reality, many hosts form multi-species aggregations and may be infected with an assemblage of pathogens. We used a meta-transcriptomic approach to characterize the viromes of nine avian species in the Anseriformes (ducks) and Charadriiformes...
Preprint
Full-text available
High-throughput sequencing of DNA and RNA from environmental and host-associated samples (metagenomics and metatranscriptomics) is a powerful tool to assess which organisms are present in a sample. Taxonomic identification software usually align individual short sequence reads to a reference database, sometimes containing taxa with complete genomes...
Article
Full-text available
Background Antibiotic resistance is rendering common bacterial infections untreatable. Wildlife can incorporate and disperse antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the environment, such as water systems, which in turn serve as reservoirs of resistance genes for human pathogens. Anthropogenic activity may contribute to the spread of bacterial resistance c...
Article
Full-text available
Approximately 99% of all viruses are still to be described, and in our changing world, any one of these unknown viruses could potentially expand their host range and cause epidemic disease in wildlife, agricultural animals, or humans. Avian avulavirus 1 causes outbreaks in wild birds and poultry and is thus well described. However, for many avulavi...
Preprint
Full-text available
Hepatitis delta virus (HDV) is the smallest known RNA virus and encodes a single protein. Until recently, HDV had only been identified in humans, where it is strongly associated with co-infection with hepatitis B virus (HBV). However, the recent discovery of HDV-like viruses in metagenomic samples from birds and snakes suggests that this virus has...
Preprint
Full-text available
Models of host-microbe dynamics typically assume a single-host population infected by a single pathogen. In reality, many hosts form multi-species aggregations and may be infected with an assemblage of pathogens. We used a meta-transcriptomic approach to characterize the viromes of nine avian species in the Anseriformes (ducks) and Charadriiformes...
Article
Full-text available
Hepatitis delta virus (HDV) is currently only found in humans and is a satellite virus that depends on hepatitis B virus (HBV) envelope proteins for assembly, release, and entry. Using meta-transcriptomics, we identified the genome of a novel HDV-like agent in ducks. Sequence analysis revealed secondary structures that were shared with HDV, includi...
Article
Full-text available
The natural reservoir for all influenza A viruses (IAVs) is wild birds, particularly dabbling ducks. During the autumn, viral prevalence can be very high in dabbling ducks (> 30%) in the Northern Hemisphere, and individuals may be repeatedly infected. Transmission and infection is through the fecal–oral route, whereby birds shed viruses in feces an...
Preprint
Full-text available
Antibiotic resistance is rendering common bacterial infections untreatable. Wildlife can incorporate and disperse antibiotic resistant bacteria in the environment, such as water systems, which in turn serve as reservoirs of resistance genes for human pathogens. We used bulk RNA-sequencing (meta-transcriptomics) to assess the diversity and expressio...
Article
Little is known about the factors that shape the ecology of RNA viruses in nature. Wild birds are an important case in point, as other than influenza A virus, avian samples are rarely tested for viruses, especially in the absence of overt disease. Using bulk RNA‐sequencing (‘meta‐transcriptomics’) we revealed the viral diversity present in Australi...
Preprint
Full-text available
Hepatitis delta virus (HDV) is currently only found in humans, and is a satellite virus that depends on hepatitis B virus (HBV) envelope proteins for assembly, release and entry. Using meta-transcriptomics, we identified the genome of a novel HDV-like agent in ducks. Sequence analysis revealed secondary structures that were shared with HDV, includi...
Article
Full-text available
Influenza A virus (IAV) is ubiquitous in waterfowl. In the northern hemisphere IAV prevalence is highest during the autumn and coincides with a peak in viral subtype diversity. Although haemagglutinin subtypes H1–H12 are associated with waterfowl hosts, subtypes H8–H12 are detected very infrequently. To better understand the role of waterfowl in th...
Article
Full-text available
We evaluated the presence of coronaviruses by PCR in 918 Australian wild bird samples collected during 2016-17. Coronaviruses were detected in 141 samples (15.3%) from species of ducks, shorebirds and herons and from multiple sampling locations. Sequencing of selected positive samples found mainly gammacoronaviruses, but also some deltacoronaviruse...
Article
This article provides data on primer sequences used to amplify the innate immune genes RIG-and Mx and a set of normalizing reference genes in mallards (Anas platyrhynchos), and shows which reference genes are stable, per tissue, for our experimental settings. Data on the expressional changes of these two genes over a time-course of infection with l...
Article
The vertebrate innate immune system provides hosts with a rapid, non-specific response to a wide range of invading pathogens. However, the speed and duration of innate responses will be influenced by the co-evolutionary dynamics of specific host-pathogen combinations. Here, we show that low pathogenic avian influenza virus (LPAI) subtype H1N1 elici...
Article
Neuraminidase inhibitors are a cornerstone of influenza pandemic preparedness before vaccines can be mass-produced and thus a neuraminidase inhibitor-resistant pandemic is a serious threat to public health. Earlier work has demonstrated the potential for development and persistence of oseltamivir resistance in influenza A viruses exposed to environ...
Article
Full-text available
Low pathogenic influenza A virus (LPIAV) prevalence and subtype distribution differs between and across bird taxa. A crucial factor in the epidemiology of these viruses and virus subtypes is the ability to transmit between and within different host taxa and individuals. Successful viral transmission depends on availability of susceptible hosts and...
Article
Surveillance of wild birds is critical in monitoring for highly pathogenic avian influenza A viruses (AIV). However, a successful surveillance regime requires proper treatment of samples in the field - rapid placement of samples in -80°C and subsequent maintenance of cold-chain. Given the logistical difficulties of this, many avian taxa and/or geog...
Chapter
A hallmark of disease is that most pathogens are able to infect more than one host species. However, for most pathogens, we still have a limited understanding of how this affects epidemiology, persistence and virulence of infections—including several zoonotic pathogens that reside in wild animal reservoirs and spillover into humans. In this chapter...
Article
Full-text available
Hantaviruses are globally distributed and cause severe human disease. Puumala hantavirus (PUUV) is the most common species in Northern Europe, and the only hantavirus confirmed to circulate in Sweden, restricted to the northern regions of the country. In this study, we aimed to further add to the natural ecology of PUUV in Sweden by investigating p...
Article
Urbanization is intensifying worldwide, and affects the epidemiology of infectious diseases. However, the effect of urbanization on natural host-pathogen systems remains poorly understood. Urban ducks occupy an interesting niche in that they directly interact with both humans and wild migratory birds, and either directly or indirectly with food pro...