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Volume 23, Number 2—February 2017

Fatal Infection with Murray Valley Encephalitis Virus Imported from Australia to Canada, 2011

Daniel J. Niven, Kevin Afra, Mircea Iftinca, Raymond Tellier, Kevin Fonseca, Andreas Kramer, David Safronetz, Kimberly Holloway, Michael Drebot, and Andrew S. JohnsonComments to Author 
Author affiliations: University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada (D.J. Niven, M. Iftinca, R. Tellier, K. Fonseca, A. Kramer, A.S. Johnson); Fraser Health Authority, Surrey, British Columbia, Canada (K. Afra); Provincial Laboratory for Public Health, Calgary (R. Tellier, K. Fonseca); Public Health Agency of Canada, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada (D. Safronetz, K. Holloway, M. Drebot)

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Table 2

Laboratory test results for a patient with a fatal infection of MVEV imported from Australia to Canada, 2011*

Sample (collection day) and test Result
Cerebrospinal fluid (3)
Enterovirus RT-PCR Negative
West Nile virus RT-PCR Negative
Herpes simplex virus type 1 and 2 PCR Negative
Varicella zoster virus PCR Negative
MVEV RT-PCR† Positive
Intrathecal antibody production ND
Saliva (4)
Rabies virus RT-PCR Negative
Blood (4)
HIV 1 and HIV-2 antibody Negative
Antibodies against arbovirus antigens‡ Negative
MVEV§ Positive
Rickettsial antibody Negative
Syphilis antibody Negative
Cryptococcal antigen Negative
Hepatitis B virus surface antigen Negative
Hepatitis C virus antibody Negative
Hantavirus antibody Negative
Respiratory (5)
Nasopharyngeal swab specimen for respiratory virus panel¶ Negative
BAL of RML for respiratory virus panel¶ Negative
BAL of LUL for respiratory virus panel¶ Negative
Brain tissue (10)
MVEV RT-PCR and tissue culture#
Corpus callosum Positive
Upper spinal cord Positive
Thalamus Positive

*BAL, bronchoalveolar lavage; LUL, left upper lobe; MVEV, Murray Valley encephalitis virus; ND, not determined: RML, right middle lobe; RT-PCR, reverse transcription PCR.
†Pan-flavivirus RT-PCR and sequencing of amplicon (3).
‡Arbovirus antigen standard panel: St. Louis encephalitis, Powassan, dengue, and West Nile viruses.
§MVEV IgM ELISA positive, MVEV IgG ELISA negative, and MVEV plaque-reduction neutralization test negative (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Fort Collins, CO, USA).
¶TAG respiratory virus panel (Luminex Molecular Diagnostics, Inc., Toronto, Ontario, Canada), which tests for respiratory syncytial virus; human coronaviruses HKU1, OC43, NL63, and 229E; parainfluenza viruses 1, 2, 3, and 4; enteroviruses/rhinoviruses; human metapneumovirus; adenovirus; and influenza viruses A and B.
#Pan-flavivirus RT-PCR and sequencing of amplicon (3). MVEV was isolated on Vero cells from fresh homogenates of biopsy specimens prepared at the time of autopsy on day of clinical illness.

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Page created: January 17, 2017
Page updated: January 17, 2017
Page reviewed: January 17, 2017
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