Within the Paramyxoviridae family, Henipaviruses are the deadliest human pathogens. Nipah and Hendra viruses comprise the genus Henipavirus, zoonotic pathogens which cause encephalitis and respiratory disease in humans with mortality rates that can exceed 70%. Henipaviruses are the only Paramyxoviruses classified as biosafety level 4 pathogens due to their extreme pathogenicity, potential for bioterrorism and lack of available licensed vaccines or therapeutic modalities. Both viruses emerged from their natural reservoir, Asian fruit bats, during the last decade of the 20th century. They caused severe disease and mortality in humans, horses and swine. They also infected a number of other mammalian…
HeV and NiV are the first and only examples of zoonotic paramyxoviruses that can infect and cause lethal disease across a broad range of mammalian species including humans and there are currently no approved treatment modalities for people. Because of the potential environmental accessibility of HeV and NiV and their highly pathogenic characteristics, the development of effective countermeasures against these biothreats has been a major research focus over the past decade.
Nipah virus (NiV) and Hendra virus (HeV) are highly pathogenic zoonotic viruses of the genus Henipavirus, family Paramyxoviridae that cause severe disease outbreaks in humans and also can infect and cause lethal disease across a broad range of mammalian species. Another related Henipavirus has been very recently identified in China in febrile patients with pneumonia, the Langya virus (LayV) of probable animal origin in shrews.
For both HeV and NiV, the Pteropus fruit bat, also known as flying fox, is considered as the
natural animal reservoirs [15,36,37]. Transmission is supposed to occur from bats via saliva,
urine, and excreta to humans with pigs (NiV) or horses (HeV and NiV).
Nipah and Hendra viruses are deadly zoonotic paramyxoviruses with a case fatality rate of upto 75%. The viruses belong to the genus henipavirus in the family Paramyxoviridae, a family of negative-sense single-stranded RNA viruses. The natural reservoirs of NiV and HeV are bats (flying foxes) in which the virus infection is asymptomatic. The intermediate hosts for NiV and HeV are swine and equine, respectively. In humans, NiV infections result in severe and often fatal respiratory and neurological manifestations.
There are two pieces of good news when it comes to Nipah virus. The first is that it’s only ever been observed in humans in five countries. More on the second later.
Nipah virus is a nasty disease to say the least. It was first identified in 1998 in Malaysia, in the area for which it is named. It is a member of the henipavirus genus of paramyxoviruses which also includes Hendra virus (measles is a distant cousin).
Hendra virus, and the related Nipah virus, have now both been observed in livestock throughout North Eastern Australia and South East Asia which is a big problem as when this zoonotic virus makes the jump into humans it can be deadly. In Australia the biggest concern is for horses.
A new virus, named Langya henipavirus (LayV), has recently been identified in Shandong and Henan provinces in China and has so far infected 35 individuals between April 2018 and August 2021. It is closely related to other known henipaviruses (Nipah and Hendra viruses) that can cause up to 70% human case fatality. Even though LayV has not been shown to be fatal in humans and does not appear to be transmitted from human-to-human, it is an RNA virus with the capacity to evolve genetically in the infected hosts (e.g. shrews) and can infect humans (e.g. farmers who have been in close contacts with shrews). It is therefore important to be vigilant about this new viral outbreak.
Sometimes the answer to a health mystery lies in a swig of booze.
In Bangladesh in recent years, there have been repeated mini-outbreaks of a disease called Nipah virus – three people here, four there.
Some people develop no symptoms. But in others, the virus can progress from a fever to fatal brain inflammation within a week.
A few years ago, epidemiologists figured out that people were likely getting Nipah from drinking raw date palm sap, a sweet drink popular in the winter, when the sap is easy to tap from trees pierced with a spigot.
A worrisome trend during this pandemic is erosion of trust in science, widespread misinformation, and sidelining of experts and public health agencies. In contrast, Malaysia and Kerala have backed and trusted their scientists and experts. They have also done well with public and media communication.
Hendra virus and Nipah virus are highly pathogenic paramyxoviruses that have recently emerged from flying foxes to cause serious disease outbreaks in humans and livestock in Australia, Malaysia, Singapore and Bangladesh.
LayV is part of a genus of viruses called henipaviruses that are typically harboured in fruit bats. The genus includes the Hendra virus, which was first identified in Australia in 1994 and is known to infect humans and horses. The Nipah virus, first identified in 1999 in Malaysia, is also part of this genus. Both infections have high fatality rates in people.
Scientists have identified a new virus in Australian fruit bats. The Cedar virus – named after the suburb in the Gold Coast hinterland where it was first discovered – is part of the henipavirus family, but unlike other members Hendra and Nipah, it does not cause death or disease in the small animals tested so far.
Recently, two candidates have emerged: Nipah virus and Rift Valley fever.
With significant progress in understanding the biology of these deadly pathogens, including the discovery of a Hendra virus vaccine and a potential neutralizing antibody, have we really won the war against the Henipavirus?
Enveloped, single-stranded RNA viruses in the genus Henipavirus, family Paramyxovirus can infect humans. Of the 6 identified Henipavirus species, Hendra virus and Nipah virus are highly virulent emerging pathogens that cause outbreaks in humans and are associated with high case-fatality ratios. In August 2022, a new Henipavirus species (Langya virus, LayV) was identified among febrile human cases in eastern China.
Henipavirus is a genus of ssRNA- viruses in the PAramyxoviridae family that infect bats and occasionally other mammals. In humans, these viruses can cause encephalitis or respiratory disease.