• Evolution of Nipah Virus Infection: Past, Present, and Future Considerations

      Hauser, Naomi; Gushiken, Alexis C; Narayanan, Shivakumar; Kottilil, Shyam; Chua, Joel V (MDPI AG, 2021-02-14)
      Nipah virus (NiV) is a zoonotic paramyxovirus of the Henipavirus genus first identified in Malaysia in 1998. Henipaviruses have bat reservoir hosts and have been isolated from fruit bats found across Oceania, Asia, and Africa. Bat-to-human transmission is thought to be the primary mode of human NiV infection, although multiple intermediate hosts are described. Human infections with NiV were originally described as a syndrome of fever and rapid neurological decline following contact with swine. More recent outbreaks describe a syndrome with prominent respiratory symptoms and human-to-human transmission. Nearly annual outbreaks have been described since 1998 with case fatality rates reaching greater than 90%. The ubiquitous nature of the reservoir host, increasing deforestation, multiple mode of transmission, high case fatality rate, and lack of effective therapy or vaccines make NiV's pandemic potential increasingly significant. Here we review the epidemiology and microbiology of NiV as well as the therapeutic agents and vaccines in development.