Mrs Amanda Shapiro


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Thesis work

Thesis title: Q fever (Coxiella bunetii) - What role do cats and dogs play in this disease?

Supervisors: Katrina BOSWARD , Jacqueline NORRIS

Thesis abstract:

Outbreaks of Q fever, an emerging worldwide zoonosis caused by Coxiella burnetii, were associated with periparturient companion animals in veterinary hospitals in Australia. These outbreaks initiated feline and canine seroprevalence studies, a national cat breeder survey and a Coxiella burnetii molecular study of raw meat intended for pet consumption, with the aim of increasing understanding of the aetiopathogenesis in companion animals. Seroprevalence studies evaluated three methodologies; indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA), enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and complement fixation testing (CFT). The Q fever cat breeder survey recruited members of registered cat breeder organisations and utilised an online platform. The molecular study utilised real time PCR with primers against both single and multi-copy gene targets. Seroprevalence was highest in cattery-confined breeding cats (9.3%) and in dogs from Aboriginal communities (6.5%). A significant Q fever knowledge gap was present amongst cat breeders, with potential associations between risky husbandry practices and Q fever transmission. Coxiella burnetii was detected in 64% of raw meat samples (primarily kangaroo origin), with sequence confirmation and genotyping of three Australian strains isolated from human Q fever patients. Australian cats and dogs have been exposed to Coxiella burnetii, reproducing infected animals pose a potential public health threat to those present at parturition. A comprehensive risk assessment of novel sources of Coxiella burnetii infection for companion animals and humans is required.

Selected publications

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Journals

  • Shapiro, A., Norris, J., Heller, J., Brown, G., Malik, R., Bosward, K. (2016). Seroprevalence of Coxiella burnetii in Australian dogs. Zoonoses and Public Health, In press. [More Information]
  • Shapiro, A., Bosward, K., Heller, J., Norris, J. (2015). Seroprevalence of Coxiella burnetii in domesticated and feral cats in eastern Australia. Veterinary Microbiology, 177(1-2), 154-161. [More Information]
  • Kopecny, L., Bosward, K., Shapiro, A., Norris, J. (2013). Investigating Coxiella burnetii infection in a breeding cattery at the centre of a Q fever outbreak. Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, 15(2), 1037-1045. [More Information]

Conferences

  • Kopecny, L., Bosward, K., Shapiro, A., Norris, J. (2012). Using Serological Assays and Fluorescent in Situ Hybridisation (FISH) to Investigate Coxiella burnetii Infection in a Breeding Cattery. Zoonoses, Sydney: Australian Society for HIV Medicine.

2016

  • Shapiro, A., Norris, J., Heller, J., Brown, G., Malik, R., Bosward, K. (2016). Seroprevalence of Coxiella burnetii in Australian dogs. Zoonoses and Public Health, In press. [More Information]

2015

  • Shapiro, A., Bosward, K., Heller, J., Norris, J. (2015). Seroprevalence of Coxiella burnetii in domesticated and feral cats in eastern Australia. Veterinary Microbiology, 177(1-2), 154-161. [More Information]

2013

  • Kopecny, L., Bosward, K., Shapiro, A., Norris, J. (2013). Investigating Coxiella burnetii infection in a breeding cattery at the centre of a Q fever outbreak. Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, 15(2), 1037-1045. [More Information]

2012

  • Kopecny, L., Bosward, K., Shapiro, A., Norris, J. (2012). Using Serological Assays and Fluorescent in Situ Hybridisation (FISH) to Investigate Coxiella burnetii Infection in a Breeding Cattery. Zoonoses, Sydney: Australian Society for HIV Medicine.

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