Deborah Finlaison

Research interests

  • Development of rapid diagnostic tests for viral diseases of animals
  • Diagnosis, pathogenesis and control of pestivirus infections of livestock
  • Viral diseases of pigs, in particular Bungowannah virus and porcine circovirus 2 (PCV2)
  • Use of porcine oral fluids for antibody and pathogen detection
  • Epidemiology of arbovirus infections of livestock


Deborah Finlaison is a veterinarian and joined the NSW Department of Primary Industries in 2002 at the Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute (EMAI), Camden. She completed her PhD in 2010 on "Studies of the porcine myocarditis syndrome".

Along with her research interests, she has responsibilities for providing support for the laboratory’s diagnostic and health certification testing, as well as providing technical advice to clients and Department management.


BSc(Vet) (Hons) – University of Sydney 1993
BVSc (Hons) – University of Sydney 1995
PhD – University of Sydney 2010

Current projects

National Arbovirus Monitoring Program (NAMP) – NSW virology coordinator
Development of innovative tools for the detection and control of CAE virus

Recent publications

Finlaison DS, Read AJ, Zhang J, Paskin R, Kirkland PD. Application of a real-time polymerase chain reaction assay to the diagnosis of bovine ephemeral fever during an outbreak in New South Wales and northern Victoria in 2009-10. Aust Vet J. 2014 Jan;92(1-2):24-7.

Finlaison DS, King KR, Gabor M, Kirkland PD. An experimental study of Bungowannah virus infection in weaner aged pigs. Vet Microbiol. 2012 Nov 9;160(1-2):245-50.

Kirkland PD, Le Potier MF, Vannier P, Finlaison D. (2012). Chapter 38. Pestiviruses. In: Diseases of Swine, Eds Zimmerman JJ, Karriker LA, Ramirez A, Schwartz KJ, Stevenson GW. Wiley- Blackwell, Iowa, 10th Ed, pp. 538-553.

Read AJ, Arzey KE, Finlaison DS, Gu X, Davis RJ, Ritchie L, Kirkland PD. A prospective longitudinal study of naturally infected horses to evaluate the performance characteristics of rapid diagnostic tests for equine influenza virus. Vet Microbiol. 2012 May 4;156(3-4):246-55.

Frost MJ, Zhang J, Edmonds JH, Prow NA, Gu X, Davis R, Hornitzky C, Arzey KE, Finlaison D, Hick P, Read A, Hobson-Peters J, May FJ, Doggett SL, Haniotis J, Russell RC, Hall RA, Khromykh AA, Kirkland PD. Characterization of virulent West Nile virus Kunjin strain, Australia, 2011. Emerg Infect Dis. 2012 May;18(5):792-800.

Read AJ, Finlaison DS, Gu X, Davis RJ, Arzey KE, Kirkland PD. Application of real-time PCR and ELISA assays for equine influenza virus to determine the duration of viral RNA shedding and onset of antibody response in naturally infected horses. Aust Vet J. 2011 Jul;89 Suppl 1:42-3.

Crispe E, Finlaison DS, Hurt AC, Kirkland PD. Infection of dogs with equine influenza virus: evidence for transmission from horses during the Australian outbreak. Aust Vet J. 2011 Jul;89 Suppl 1:27-8.

Finlaison DS, Read AJ, Kirkland PD. An epizootic of bovine ephemeral fever in New South Wales in 2008 associated with long-distance dispersal of vectors. Aust Vet J. 2010 Aug;88(8):301-6.

Finlaison DS, Cook RW, Srivastava M, Frost MJ, King KR, Kirkland PD. Experimental infections of the porcine foetus with Bungowannah virus, a novel pestivirus. Vet Microbiol. 2010 Jul 29;144(1-2):32-40.

Kirkland PD, Finlaison DS, Crispe E, Hurt AC. Influenza virus transmission from horses to dogs, Australia. Emerg Infect Dis. 2010 Apr;16(4):699-702.

Finlaison DS, King KR, Frost MJ, Kirkland PD. Field and laboratory evidence that Bungowannah virus, a recently recognised pestivirus, is the causative agent of the porcine myocarditis syndrome (PMC). Vet Microbiol. 2009 May 12;136(3-4):259-65.

Kirkland PD, Frost MJ, Finlaison DS, King KR, Ridpath JF, Gu X. Identification of a novel virus in pigs--Bungowannah virus: a possible new species of pestivirus. Virus Res. 2007 Oct;129(1):26-34.

Finlaison D, Kirkland P, Luong R, Ross A. Survey of porcine circovirus 2 and postweaning multisystemic wasting syndrome in New South Wales piggeries. Aust Vet J. 2007 Aug;85(8):304-10.

McOrist S, Thornton E, Peake A, Walker R, Robson S, Finlaison D, Kirkland P, Reece R, Ross A, Walker K, Hyatt A, Morrissy C. An infectious myocarditis syndrome affecting late-term and neonatal piglets. Aust Vet J. 2004 Aug;82(8):509-11.

Fields of research

070703 Veterinary Diagnosis and Diagnostics
070709 Veterinary Pathology
070712 Veterinary Virology

Keyword/phrase list of research interests

  • Veterinary virology
  • Diagnostic virology
  • Animal health
  • Vector borne viruses
  • Rapid diagnostic tests