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Publications (7)0 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Australia conducts surveillance for cases of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) in children less than 15 years of age as the main method to monitor its polio-free status in accordance with the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations. Cases of AFP in children are notified to the Australian Paediatric Surveillance Unit or the Paediatric Active Enhanced Disease Surveillance System and faecal specimens are referred for virological investigation to the National Enterovirus Reference Laboratory. In 2013, no cases of poliomyelitis were reported from clinical surveillance and Australia reported 1.4 non-polio AFP cases per 100,000 children, meeting the WHO performance criterion for a sensitive surveillance system. Non-polio enteroviruses can also be associated with AFP and enterovirus A71 was identified from nine of the 61 cases classified as non-polio AFP in 2013, which was part of a larger outbreak associated with this virus. A Sabin poliovirus was detected in an infant recently returned from Pakistan and who had been vaccinated while abroad. Globally, 416 cases of polio were reported in 2013, with the 3 endemic countries: Afghanistan; Nigeri;a and Pakistan, accounting for 38% of the cases. To safeguard the progress made towards polio eradication, in May 2014, WHO recommended travellers from the 10 countries that are currently reporting wild poliovirus transmission have documented evidence of recent polio vaccination before departure.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · Communicable diseases intelligence quarterly report
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    ABSTRACT: The Australian National Poliovirus Reference Laboratory (NPRL) is accredited by the World Health Organization (WHO) for the testing of faecal specimens from acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) cases and operates as a regional poliovirus reference laboratory for the Western Pacific Region. The NPRL, in collaboration with the Australian Paediatric Surveillance Unit, co-ordinates surveillance for cases of AFP in children in Australia, according to criteria recommended by the WHO. Specimens are referred from AFP cases in children and suspected cases of poliomyelitis in persons of any age. The WHO AFP surveillance performance indicator is 1 non-polio AFP case per 100,000 children less than 15 years of age. In 2009, the Polio Expert Committee classified 48 cases as non-polio AFP, a rate of 1.17 cases per 100,000 children less than 15 years of age. An additional WHO AFP surveillance performance indicator is that more than 80% of notified AFP cases have 2 faecal samples collected 24 hours apart and within 14 days of onset of paralysis. Adequate faecal samples were received from 16 (33.3%) of the 48 classified cases. A poliovirus was referred via the Enterovirus Reference Laboratory Network of Australia from a non-AFP case and was determined to be Sabin-like. This case most likely represents an importation event, the source of which was not identified, as Australia ceased using Sabin oral polio vaccine in 2005. The last report of a wild poliovirus importation in Australia was from Pakistan in 2007. In 2009, 1,604 wild poliovirus cases were reported in 23 countries with Afghanistan, India, Nigeria and Pakistan remaining endemic for poliomyelitis.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2010 · Communicable diseases intelligence
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    ABSTRACT: The Australian National Poliovirus Reference Laboratory (NPRL) is accredited by the World Health Organization (WHO) for the testing of stool specimens from cases of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP), a major clinical presentation of poliovirus infection. The NPRL, in collaboration with the Australian Paediatric Surveillance Unit, co-ordinates surveillance for cases of AFP in children in Australia, according to criteria recommended by the WHO. Clinical specimens are referred from AFP cases in children and suspected case of poliomyelitis in persons of any age. The WHO AFP surveillance performance indicator for a polio-free country such as Australia, is 1 non-polio AFP case per 100,000 children less than 15 years of age. In 2008, the Polio Expert Committee (PEC) classified 62 cases as non-polio AFP, or 1.51 non-polio AFP cases per 100,000 children aged less than 15 years. Poliovirus infection is confirmed by virus culture of stool specimens from AFP cases as other conditions that present with acute paralysis can mimic polio. While no poliovirus was reported in Australia from any source in 2008, the non-polio enteroviruses echovirus 25, coxsackievirus B2 and echovirus 11 were isolated from stool specimens of AFP cases. The last report of a wild poliovirus in Australia was due to an importation from Pakistan in 2007. With 4 countries remaining endemic for poliomyelitis--Afghanistan, India, Nigeria and Pakistan--and more than 1,600 confirmed cases of wild poliovirus infection in 18 countries in 2008, Australia continues to be at risk of further importation events.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2009 · Communicable diseases intelligence
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    ABSTRACT: In July 2007, wild poliovirus type 1 was isolated from a patient suffering poliomyelitis in Melbourne, Australia with onset in Pakistan. The imported case of polio demonstrates the ongoing risk faced by polio-free countries until the global certification of polio eradication. The poliovirus was detected by the National Poliovirus Reference Laboratory (NPRL) for Australia; accredited by the World Health Organization (WHO). The NPRL acts as the national laboratory for the Pacific Islands, Brunei Darussalam and Papua New Guinea. Additionally, the NPRL functions as a regional reference laboratory for the WHO Western Pacific Region. The NPRL, in collaboration with the Australian Paediatric Surveillance Unit, co-ordinates surveillance for acute flaccid paralysis (AFP), a major clinical presentation of poliovirus infection. After classification of AFP cases by the Polio Expert Committee, the non-polio AFP rate for Australia in 2007 was 0.65 per 100,000 children aged less than 15 years, below the performance indicator of 1.0 per 100,000 set by the WHO. Adequate faecal sample collection totalled 48% (13/27) of eligible AFP notifications, below the 80% performance indicator recommended by the WHO. During 2007, 119 specimens were referred to the NPRL, 70 from AFP cases and 49 from other sources, including contacts of the wild poliovirus importation, all negative for poliovirus infection. Coxsackievirus A4 was isolated from 1 case and adenovirus from 2 cases. During 2007, 1313 cases of poliomyelitis due to wild poliovirus infection were reported world-wide: 1207 occurring in the 4 remaining polio endemic countries and 106 cases reported in 5 non-endemic countries.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2008 · Communicable diseases intelligence
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    ABSTRACT: The Australian National Poliovirus Reference Laboratory (NPRL), located within the Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory, is the national laboratory for Australia, the Pacific Islands and Brunei Darussalam, and is accredited by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the Regional Reference Laboratory for the WHO Western Pacific Region. The NPRL, in collaboration with the Australian Paediatric Surveillance Unit, co-ordinates surveillance for acute flaccid paralysis (AFP), the major clinical presentation of poliovirus infection. After classification of AFP cases by the Polio Expert Committee, the non-polio AFP rate for Australia in 2006 was 1.1, meeting the WHO surveillance requirement of detecting more than one AFP case per 100,000 children aged less than 15 years. During 2006, 80 specimens were referred to the NPRL, 59 from AFP cases and 21 from other sources. Poliovirus type 3 was isolated from two patients without AFP and the isolates were characterised as Sabin-like using WHO accredited methodologies. Echovirus 30 was isolated from two cases of AFP and coxsackievirus B5 and adenovirus were isolated from individual cases. During 2006, 1,998 cases of poliomyelitis due to wild poliovirus infection were reported world-wide, of which, only 6.8% (127) were due to importation of wild poliovirus.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2007 · Communicable diseases intelligence
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    ABSTRACT: In May 1988 the World Health Assembly adopted a resolution for the global eradication of poliomyelitis. Since then two target dates for eradication (2000 and 2003) have passed and the struggle to eradicate the poliovirus continues. Australia's commitment to the worldwide campaign began in December 1994 with the designation of the National Poliovirus Reference Laboratory at the Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory and the initiation of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) surveillance in March 1995. During 2005 the National Poliovirus Reference Laboratory did not isolate any wild or vaccine derived polioviruses from the 42 samples collected from eighteen cases of acute flaccid paralysis in Australian residents. Three Sabin-like polioviruses were isolated from three cases of acute flaccid paralysis but all were considered incidental isolations by the Polio Expert Committee and not implicated in the disease of the patients. After exceeding the World Health Organization target of one case of AFP per 100,000 children aged less than 15 years in 2004, Australia's non-polio AFP rate in 2005 fell to 0.75 cases per 100,000 children. The high number of wild poliovirus importations reported globally in 2005 into previously polio free countries, highlights the need for a sensitive AFP surveillance system within Australia and for specimens from AFP cases to be forwarded to the National Poliovirus Reference Laboratory.
    Preview · Article · Feb 2006 · Communicable diseases intelligence
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    ABSTRACT: The Australian National Polio Reference Laboratory (NPRL) is responsible for virological confirmation of poliomyelitis in Australia. Since 1995, 1,204 untyped enterovirus or poliovirus isolates from six States have been identified and characterised. Of these, 666 were Sabin vaccine-like poliovirus, 498 were non-polio enteroviruses and 39 were other viruses or negative; one non-Sabin vaccine-like poliovirus was identified as a laboratory contaminant. Early in 2000, the Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory (VIDRL) was funded to coordinate surveillance of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP). From 1 January to 30 June 2000, 23 specimens from 13 patients with AFP were processed and cultured for the presence of enterovirus; none was detected. A National Coordinator has been appointed to work with the VIDRL and the Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care (CDHAC) to implement the Australian component of the World Health Organization's global plan for containment of wild polioviruses. During April 2000 staff of the NPRL and CDHAC met with the Regional Commission and staff of the World Health Organization (WHO) office of the Western Pacific Region (WPR) to discuss documentation required to certify Australia as poliovirus free. Commun Dis Intell 2000;24:300-303.
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