The Virology Research Group aims to increase understanding of the basic biology of viral infections in children – how viruses interact with cells and how they evade the body's immune response.

Our research focus is constantly evolving. We are involved in infection surveillance programs and respond to changes in infection rates of viruses that cause severe paediatric illnesses. Our research also addresses the need to accurately and rapidly diagnose common and emerging viral infections, and the necessity of providing cutting edge diagnostic services to the paediatric community.

The two core areas of research within the Virology Group are Flavivirus infections and regulation of immune cells, and the role of viruses and bacteria in childhood illnesses.

Virology Research is led by Professor Alison Kesson, Head of The Children's Hospital at Westmead Microbiology Diagnostic Service.

The research team

> Professor Alison Kesson, Head of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology and Virology Research

Alison is a Medical Virologist and Infectious Diseases expert with a research background that focussed on flaviviruses and West Nile Virus. As Head of Virology at The Children's Hospital at Westmead, she takes a strong interest in viral causes of encephalitis and infectious diseases of childhood. More information can be found on Alison's University of Sydney profile page

> Other Research Team Members:

  • Prof David Isaacs, Paediatric Infectious Diseases Specialist
  • Professor Ben Marais, Infectious Disease Consultant
  • Dr Alex Outhred, Staff Specialist and PhD Student

Key publications

Khatami A, McMullan BJ, Webber M, Stewart P, Francis S, Timmers KJ, Rodas E, Druce J, Mehta B, Sloggett NA, Cumming G, Papadakis G, Kesson AM (2015) Sepsis-like disease in infants due to human parechovirus type 3 during an outbreak in Australia. Clin Infect Dis 60(2):228-36

Thompson KA, Marais BJ, Kesson A, Isaacs D (2015) Malaria in Sydney, Australia: Lessons learned from case management. J Paediatr Child Health [Epub ahead of print]

Raynes-Greenow C, Polis S, Elliott E, Hardikar W, Kesson A, Kaldor J, Jones CA (2015) Childhood hepatitis C virus infection: An Australian national surveillance study of incident cases over five years. J Paediatr Child Health [Epub]

Khatami A, Outhred AC, Britton PN, Huguon E, Lord DJ, Wong M, Charlton A, Kesson AM, Isaacs D (2015) Mediastinal mass in a healthy adolescent at The Children's Hospital at Westmead, Australia. Thorax 70(2):194-7

Pillai S, Tantsis E, Prelog K, Ramanathan S, Webster R, Ouvrier RA, Kesson A, Brilot F, Dale RC (2014) Confirmed enterovirus encephalitis with associated steroid-responsive acute disseminated encephalomyelitis: An overlapping infection and inflammation syndrome Eur J Paediatr Neurol  doi: 10.1016/j.ejpn.2014.12.015

WHO Influenza Centre. (2013) Influenza antiviral resistance in the Asia-Pacific region during 2011. Antiviral research 97: 206- 10

Morton NJ, Britton P, Palasanthiran P, Bye A, Sugo E, Kesson A, Ardern-Holmes S, Snelling TL (2013) Severe hemorrhagic meningoencephalitis due to Angiostrongylus cantonensis among young children in Sydney, Australia. Clin Infect Dis 57(8):1158-61

Wang B, Taylor J, Ratnamohan M, McPhie K, Kesson AM, Dixit R, Booy R, Hurt AC, Saksena NK, Dwyer DE (2012) Failure to detect regional spread following an outbreak of community transmitted oseltamivir-resistant influenza A(H1N1) virus. Eurosurveillance. 17 (27) 5 July

Kesson AM, Choo C-M, Troedson C, Thorley BR and Roberts JA. (2012) Echovirus 19 Associated with a Case of Acute Flaccid Paralysis. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health 49: E239-42

Polkinghorne BG, Mellis CM, Kesson AM (2011) Bug breakfast in the bulletin: respiratory syncytial virus. NSW Public Health Bull 22(7-8):159