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Our people-our expertise: Jamie McMahon

Our people-our expertise

Jamie McMahon

Qualifications | Research interests | Publications | Presentations | Awards | Grants and funding | Memberships

Jamie has worked at Forensic and Scientific Services since 2007 and has experience in all aspects of the Public Health Virology Laboratory. Since 2013 Jamie has been the Supervising Scientist of the Molecular Diagnostic team of six, who specialise in testing for and characterisation of high risk human pathogens including as Hendra virus, Australian bat lyssavirus, Marburg and ebola viruses as well as responding to viral outbreaks of public health concern including those caused by measles, dengue and pandemic influenza viruses. Jamie leverages a range of PCR-based molecular tools including the use of massively parallel sequencing for special investigations and to better understand virus outbreaks and epidemics.

Jamie has a particular interest in measles and the measles vaccine strain virus and is currently completing a PhD through the University of Queensland on this topic.


  • Bachelor of Science, University of Queensland
  • Diploma of Management, TAFE Queensland
  • PhD, University of Queensland (in progress)

Research interests and expertise

  • Virus detection and characterisation
  • Vaccine preventable viruses with a special interest in measles and measles vaccine strain virus
  • Co-detections of respiratory viruses
  • Virus persistence.


Lane CR, Sherry NL, Porter AF, Duchene S, Horna K, Andersson P, Wilmot M, Turner A, Dougall S, Johnson SA, Sait M, Gonçalves da Silva A, Ballard SA, Hoang T, Stinear TP, Caly L, Sintchenko V, Graham R, McMahon J, Smith D, Leong LEX, Meumann EM, Cooley L, Schwessinger B, Rawlinson W, van Hal SJ, Stephens N, Catton M, Looker C, Crouch S, Sutton B, Alpren C, Williamson DA, Seemann T, Howden BP, (2021). Genomics-informed responses in the elimination of COVID-19 in Victoria, Australia: an observational, genomic epidemiological study. The Lancet Public Health. DOI: 10.1016/S2468-2667(21)00133-X

Pyke AT, Nair N, van den Hurk A, Burtonclay P, Nguyen S, Barcelon J, Kistler C, Schlebusch S, McMahon J, Moore F, (2021). Replication Kinetics of B.1.351 and B.1.1.7 SARS-CoV-2 Variants of Concern Including Assessment of a B.1.1.7 Mutant Carrying a Defective ORF7a Gene. Viruses, 13. DOI: 10.3390/v13061087

O'Toole Á, Hill V, Pybus OG et al. (2021) Tracking the international spread of SARS-CoV-2 lineages B.1.1.7 and B.1.351/501Y-V2 [version 1; peer review: 1 approved]. Wellcome Open Res 2021, 6:121. DOI: 10.12688/wellcomeopenres.16661.1

Hall-Mendelin S, Pyke AT, Ramirez AL, Staunton KM, Burtonclay P, McMahon J, Barcelon J, van den Hurk AF, (2020). Infection, Dissemination, and Replication of Urban and Sylvatic Strains of Dengue Virus Type 2 (Flaviviridae: Flavivirus) in Australian Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culcidae). DOI: 10.1093/jme/tjaa292

Shaban RZ, Li C, O'Sullivan MVN, Gerrard J, Stuart R, Teh J, Gilroy N, Sorrell TC, White E, Bag S, Hackett K, Chen SCA, Kok J, Dwyer DE, Iredell JR, Maddocks S, Ferguson P, Varshney K, Carter I, Barratt R, Robertson M, Baskar SR, Friend C, Robosa RS, Sotomayor-Castillo C, Nahidi S, Macbeth DA,, Alcorn KAD, Wattiaux A, Moore F, McMahon J, Naughton W, Korman T, Catton M, Kanapathipillai R, Romanes F, Rowe E, Catford J, Kennedy B, Qiao M, Shaw D, (2020). COVID-19 in Australia: Our national response to the first cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection during the early biocontainment phase. International Medicine Journal. DOI: 10.1111/imj.15105

Ramirez AL, Colmant AMG, Warrilow D, Huang B, Pyke AT, McMahon JL, Meyer DB, Graham RMA, Jennison AV, Ritchie SA, van den Hurk AF, (2020). Metagenomic Analysis of the Virome of Mosquito Excreta. mSphere. DOI: 10.1128/mSphere.00587-20

Taylor A, Ebert E, McMahon J, Britton L, Siebert D, Slinko V, Vasant B, (2020) Locally acquired, human hepatitis E infection in Queensland. Internal Medicine Journal 50, 643-644. DOI: doi:10.1111/imj.14825

McMahon J, Northill JA, Finger M,Lyon M, Lambert SB, Mackay IM, (2020) Laboratory methods supporting measles surveillance in Queensland, Australia, 2010–2017. Access Microbiology

Pyke AT, McMahon J, Burtonclay P, Nair N, De Jong A. (2020) Genome sequences of Chikungunya virus strains from Bangladesh and Thailand. Microbiology Resource Announcements. DOI: 10.1128/MRA.01452-19

Jansen CC, Shivas MA, May FJ, Pyke AT, Onn MB, Lodo K, Hall-Mendelin S, McMahon JL, Montgomery BL, Darbro JM, Doggett SL, van den Hurk AF. (2019) Epidemiologic, entomologic and virologic factors of the 2014-15 Ross River virus outbreak, Queensland, Australia. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 25(12). p. 2243-2252. DOI: 10.3201/eid2512.181810

Ramirez AL, van den Hurk AF, Mackay IM, Yang ASP, Hewitson GR, McMahon J, Boddey JA,  Ritchie SA, Erickson SM (2019) Malaria surveillance from both ends: concurrent detection of Plasmodium falciparum in saliva and excreta harvested from Anopheles mosquitoes. Parasites & Vectors, 12(1), pp.1-10. DOI: 10.1186/s13071-019-3610-9

McMahon J, Mackay IM, Lambert SB (2019) Measles vaccine virus RNA in children more than 100 days after vaccination. bioRxiv, p. 548701. DOI:

McMahon J, Mackay IM, Lambert SB (2019) Measles vaccine virus RNA in children more than 100 days after vaccination. Viruses, 11 (7). p. 636. DOI: 10.3390/v11070636 

Ramírez AL, Hall-Mendelin S, Hewitson GR, McMahon JL, Staunton KM, Ritchie SA, van den Hurk AF. (2019) Stability of West Nile Virus (Flaviviridae: Flavivirus) RNA in mosquito excreta. Journal of Medical Entomology, 56(4), pp.1135-1138. DOI:10.1093/jme/tjz044

McMahon JL, Northill J, Finger M, Lyon M, Lambert SB, Mackay IM.  (2019) Laboratory Methods Supporting Measles surveillance in Queensland, Australia, 2010–2017. BioRxiv, p.472175. DOI:

Huang B, Jennsion AV,  Whiley D, McMahon J, Hewitson G, Graham R, De Jong A, Warrilow D. (2019) Illumina sequencing of clinical samples for virus detection in a public health laboratory. Scientific reports, 9(1), p.5409. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-41830-w

Pyke AT, Cameron JN, McMahon J, De Jong AJ, Burtonclay P (2019) First complete genome sequences of dengue virus serotype 2 strains from the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. Microbiology Resource Announcements, 8 (2). e01360-18. DOI: 10.1128/MRA.01360-18

Pyke AT, Gunn W, Taylor CT, Mackay IM, McMahon J, Jelley L, Waite B, May F. (2018) On the home front: specialised reference testing for dengue in the Australasian region. Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease, 3(3). p. 75. DOI:10.3390/tropicalmed3030075 

Ramírez AL, Hall-Mendelin S, Doggett SL, Hewitson GR, McMahon JL, Ritchie SA, van den Hurk AF (2018) Mosquito excreta: A sample type with many potential applications for the investigation of Ross River virus and West Nile virus ecology. PLoS neglected tropical diseases, 12(8), p.e0006771. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0006771

Taylor CT, Mackay IM, McMahon J, Wheatley SL, Moore PR, Finger M, Hewitson GR, Moore, F (2018) Detection of specific ZIKV IgM in travelers using a Multiplexed Flavivirus Microsphere Immunoassay. Viruses, 10 (5). p. 253. DOI: 10.3390/v10050253

Huang B, West NP, Vider J, Cox AJ, Constantino T, Harrower BJ, Pyke AT, McMahon J, Northill JA, Riordan T, and Warrilow D (2017) Diagnosis and typing of influenza using fluorescent barcoded probes. Scientific Reports, Dec 22;7(1):18092 DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-18333-7

Pyke AT, Huang B, Warrilow D, Moore PR, McMahon J, Harrower B (2017) Complete genome sequence of a highly divergent dengue virus type 2 strain, imported into Australia from Sabah, Malaysia. Genome Announcements., 5(29), pp.e00546-17. DOI: 10.1128/genomeA.00546-17

Huang B, Pyke AT, McMahon J, Warrilow D. (2017) Complete coding sequence of a case of Chikungunya virus imported into Australia. Genome Announcements, 5(19) pii: e00310-17. DOI: 10.1128/genomeA.00310-17

Montgomery BL, Shivas MA, Hall-Mendelin S, Edwards J, Hamilton NA, Jansen CC, McMahon JL, Warrilow D, van den Hurk AF (2017) Rapid Surveillance for Vector Presence (RSVP): development of a novel system for detecting Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 11(3): e0005505. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0005505

Hall-Mendelin S, Pyke AT, Moore PR, Mackay IM, McMahon J, Ritchie SA, Taylor CT, Moore F, van den Hurk AF (2016) Assessment of local mosquito species incriminates Aedes aegypti as the potential vector of Zika Virus in Australia. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 10(9):e0004959. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0004959

Pyke AT, Moore PR, Hall-Mendelin S, McMahon JL, Harrower BJ, Constantino TR, van den Hurk AF (2016) Isolation of Zika Virus Imported from Tonga into Australia. PLoS Currents. Sep 7; 8. DOI: 10.1371/currents.outbreaks.849adc0ad16beec4536695281707f785

Johnson BJ, Kerlin T, Hall-Mendelin S, van den Hurk AF, Cortis G, Doggett SL, Toi C, Fall K, McMahon JL, Townsend M, Ritchie SA (2015) Development and field evaluation of the sentinel mosquito arbovirus capture kit (SMACK). Parasites & Vectors. 8: 509. DOI: 10.1186/s13071-015-1114-9

Ritchie SA, Buhagiar TS, Townsend M, van den Hurk AF, McMahon JL, Hoffmann A, Eiras A (2014) Field validation of the Gravid Aedes Trap (GAT) for collection of Aedes aegypti. Journal of Medical Entomology, 51(1): 210-219. DOI: 10.1603/ME13105

van den Hurk AF, Hall-Mendelin S, Townsend M, Kurucz N, Edwards J, Ehlers G, Northill JA, Moore FJ, McMahon JL, Simmons RJ, Cortis G, Melville L, Wheland PI, Ritchie SA (2014) Applications of a sugar-based surveillance system to track arboviruses in wild mosquito populations. Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis. 14(1):66-73. DOI: 10.1089/vbz.2013.1373

Craig SB, Smythe LD, Graham GC, Burns MA, McMahon JL, Dohnt MF, Tulsiani SM, McKay DB (2013). Haemoglobin and red cell counts in leptospirosis patients infected with different serovars. Revista da Sociedade Brasileira de Medicina Tropical, 46(2), pp.237-240. DOI: 10.1590/0037-8682-1013-2013 

Conference Posters

McMahon J, Mackay IM, Lambert SB. 2019. Measles vaccine virus RNA in children more than 100 days after vaccination. In: Measles mini-symposium, Mayo clinic, Rochester, USA,

McMahon J, Northill J, Cameron J, Hewitson G, Genge D, Moore F. 2015. Measles Activity in Queensland Since 2013. In: Communicable Disease Control Conference, Brisbane, Qld.

McMahon J, Northill J, Hewitson G, Cameron J, Genge D, Moore F. 2015. The Identification of a Hepatitis A cluster linked to to the consumption of imported frozen berries through phylogenetic analysis. In: Communicable Disease Control Conference, Brisbane, Qld.

Slinko V, McMahon J, Jarvinen K, Stafford R, Bell R, Heel K, Northill J, McCall B. 2015. Innovative use of Hepatitis A Molecular Testing in South East Queensland. In: Communicable Disease Control Conference, Brisbane, Qld.

Northill J, Horton-Szar V, Hewitson G, Genge D, Cameron J, McMahon J, Schlebusch S, Moore F. 2015. Human Astroviruses in South-East Queensland 2014. In: Communicable Disease Control Conference, Brisbane, Qld.

Alcorn K, McMahon J, Robson J. 2014. Parapox Infections in Queensland. In: Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases, Zoonosis Conference.


Sep 2019: Arbovirus molecular testing and surveillance within Public Health Virology. Sullivan and Nicolaides Pathology, Bowen Hills, Qld.

Sep 2019: Public Health Virology – What’s new and (possibly) interesting! Infection Control Practitioners, Public Health and TB Nurses Inaugural Forum 2019, Herston, Qld.

Jul 2019: Measles vaccine virus RNA in children more than 100 days after vaccination. In: Measles Mini-symposium, Mayo clinic, Rochester, USA.

Jul 2018: The Measles Vaccine. A forgotten medical miracle. The Australian Society for Microbiology meeting 2018, Southbank, Qld.

2017: Hepatitis A Genotyping. Communicable Diseases Branch, Herston, Qld.

May 2015: Public Health Virology: What do we do and how do we do it? Metro North Public Health Unit, Herston, Qld.

Jun 2015: Public Health Virology: What do we do and how do we do it? PAH Microbology, Annerley, Qld.

Sep 2015: Easton M, Romanes F, Antoniou M, Gregory J, Polkinghome B, Stafford R, McMahon J, and OZFoodNet Network. 2015. A Multi-Jurisdictional outbreak of hepatitis A associated with consumption of Frozen berries. In: Communicable Disease Control Conference, Brisbane, Qld.

Oct 2014: PCR101. Metro South Public Health Unit, Coopers Plains, Qld.



  • 2019 Australian Museum Eureka Prize finalist - Department of Industry, Innovation and Science Eureka Prize for Innovation in Citizen Science: Zika Mozzie Seeker team

  • 2018 Australian Museum Eureka Prize finalist - Department of Industry, Innovation and Science Eureka Prize for Innovation in Citizen Science: Zika Mozzie Seeker team

  • 2017 Queensland Health Awards for Excellence - Pursuing Innovation: Zika Mozzie Seeker




Jamie McMahon
Supervising Scientist, Molecular, Virology
Public and Environmental Health