Nipah virus

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Nipah henipavirus
Nipah virus from an infected VERO cell.jpg
False-color electron micrograph showing a Nipah virus particle (purple) by an infected Vero cell (brown)
Virus classification e
(unranked): Virus
Realm: Riboviria
Kingdom: Orthornavirae
Phylum: Negarnaviricota
Class: Monjiviricetes
Order: Mononegavirales
Family: Paramyxoviridae
Genus: Henipavirus
Nipah henipavirus

Nipah virus, scientific name Nipah henipavirus, is a bat-borne virus that causes Nipah virus infection in humans and other animals, a disease with a high mortality rate. Numerous disease outbreaks caused by Nipah virus have occurred in South and Southeast Asia. Nipah virus belongs to the genus Henipavirus along with the Hendra virus, which has also caused disease outbreaks.


Like other henipaviruses, the Nipah virus genome is a single (nonsegmented) negative-sense, single-stranded RNA of over 18 kb, which is substantially longer than that of other paramyxoviruses.[1][2] The enveloped virus particles are variable in shape, and can be filamentous or spherical; they contain a helical nucleocapsid.[1] Six structural proteins are generated: N (nucleocapsid), P (phosphoprotein), M (matrix), F (fusion), G (glycoprotein) and L (RNA polymerase). The P open reading frame also encodes three nonstructural proteins, C, V and W. There are two envelope glycoproteins. The G glycoprotein assembles as a tetramer to form the viral anti-receptor or attachment protein, which binds to the receptor on the host cell. The F glycoprotein forms a trimer, which mediates membrane fusion.[1][2]


Ephrins B2 and B3 have been identified as the main receptors for Nipah virus.[1][2][3] Ephrin subtypes have a complex distribution of expression throughout the body, where the B3 is noted to have particularly high expression in some forebrain subregions.[4]


The most likely origin of this virus was in 1947 (95% credible interval: 1888–1988).[5] There are two clades of this virus—one with its origin in 1995 (95% credible interval: 1985–2002) and a second with its origin in 1985 (95% credible interval: 1971–1996). The mutation rate was estimated to be 6.5 × 10−4 substitution/site/year (95% credible interval: 2.3 × 10−4 –1.18 × 10−3), similar to other RNA viruses.

Pteropus vampyrus (large flying fox), one of the natural reservoirs of Nipah virus

Geographic distribution[edit]

Nipah virus has been isolated from Lyle's flying fox (Pteropus lylei) in Cambodia[6] and viral RNA found in urine and saliva from P. lylei and Horsfield's roundleaf bat (Hipposideros larvatus) in Thailand.[7] Infective virus has also been isolated from environmental samples of bat urine and partially eaten fruit in Malaysia.[8] Antibodies to henipaviruses have also been found in fruit bats in Madagascar (Pteropus rufus, Eidolon dupreanum)[9] and Ghana (Eidolon helvum)[10] indicating a wide geographic distribution of the viruses. No infection of humans or other species have been observed in Cambodia, Thailand or Africa as of May 2018.



The first cases of Nipah virus infection were identified in 1998, when an outbreak of neurological and respiratory disease on pig farms in peninsular Malaysia caused 265 human cases, with 105 deaths.[11][12][13] The virus itself was isolated the following year in 1999.[14] This outbreak resulted in the culling of one million pigs. In Singapore, 11 cases, including one death, occurred in abattoir workers exposed to pigs imported from the affected Malaysian farms. The Nipah virus has been classified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a Category C agent.[15] The name "Nipah" refers to the place, Sungai Nipah in Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan, the source of the human case from which Nipah virus was first isolated.[16][17] Nipah virus is one of several viruses identified by WHO as a likely cause of a future epidemic in a new plan developed after the Ebola epidemic for urgent research and development before and during an epidemic toward new diagnostic tests, vaccines and medicines.[18][19]

The outbreak was originally mistaken for Japanese encephalitis, but physicians in the area noted that persons who had been vaccinated against Japanese encephalitis were not protected in the epidemic, and the number of cases among adults was unusual.[20] Although these observations were recorded in the first month of the outbreak, the Ministry of Health failed to take them into account, and launched a nationwide campaign to educate people on the dangers of Japanese encephalitis and its vector, Culex mosquitoes.

Symptoms of infection from the Malaysian outbreak were primarily encephalitic in humans and respiratory in pigs. Later outbreaks have caused respiratory illness in humans, increasing the likelihood of human-to-human transmission and indicating the existence of more dangerous strains of the virus.

Based on seroprevalence data and virus isolations, the primary reservoir for Nipah virus was identified as Pteropid fruit bats, including Pteropus vampyrus (large flying fox), and Pteropus hypomelanus (small flying fox), both found in Malaysia.

Locations of henipavirus outbreaks (red stars–Hendra virus; blue stars–Nipah virus) and distribution of henipavirus flying fox reservoirs (red shading–Hendra virus; blue shading–Nipah virus)

The transmission of Nipah virus from flying foxes to pigs is thought to be due to an increasing overlap between bat habitats and piggeries in peninsular Malaysia. At the index farm, fruit orchards were in close proximity to the piggery, allowing the spillage of urine, faeces and partially eaten fruit onto the pigs.[21] Retrospective studies demonstrate that viral spillover into pigs may have been occurring, undetected, in Malaysia since 1996.[11] During 1998, viral spread was aided by the transfer of infected pigs to other farms, where new outbreaks occurred.

Outbreaks of disease[edit]

Nipah virus infection outbreaks have been reported in Malaysia, Singapore, Bangladesh and India. The highest mortality due to Nipah virus infection has occurred in Bangladesh, where outbreaks are typically seen in winter.[22] Nipah virus first appeared in 1998, in peninsular Malaysia in pigs and pig farmers. By mid-1999, more than 265 human cases of encephalitis, including 105 deaths, had been reported in Malaysia, and 11 cases of either encephalitis or respiratory illness with one fatality were reported in Singapore.[23] In 2001, Nipah virus was reported from Meherpur District, Bangladesh[24][25] and Siliguri, India.[24] The outbreak again appeared in 2003, 2004 and 2005 in Naogaon District, Manikganj District, Rajbari District, Faridpur District and Tangail District.[25] In Bangladesh there were also outbreaks in subsequent years.[26]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Aditi, M. Shariff (2019). "Nipah virus infection: A review". Epidemiology and Infection. 147: E95. doi:10.1017/S0950268819000086.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  2. ^ a b c Moushimi Amaya, Christopher C. Broder (2020). "Vaccines to emerging viruses: Nipah and Hendra". Annual Review of Virology. 7: 447–473. doi:10.1146/annurev-virology-021920-113833.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  3. ^ Lee B, Ataman ZA; Ataman (2011). "Modes of paramyxovirus fusion: a Henipavirus perspective". Trends in Microbiology. 19 (8): 389–399. doi:10.1016/j.tim.2011.03.005. PMC 3264399. PMID 21511478.
  4. ^ Hruska, Martin; Dalva, Matthew B. (May 2012). "Ephrin regulation of synapse formation, function and plasticity". Molecular and Cellular Neurosciences. 50 (1): 35–44. doi:10.1016/j.mcn.2012.03.004. ISSN 1044-7431. PMC 3631567. PMID 22449939.
  5. ^ Lo Presti A, Cella E, Giovanetti M, Lai A, Angeletti S, Zehender G, Ciccozzi M (2015). "Origin and evolution of Nipah virus". J Med Virol. 88 (3): 380–388. doi:10.1002/jmv.24345. PMID 26252523.
  6. ^ Reynes JM, Counor D, Ong S (2005). "Nipah virus in Lyle's flying foxes, Cambodia". Emerging Infectious Diseases. 11 (7): 1042–7. doi:10.3201/eid1107.041350. PMC 3371782. PMID 16022778.
  7. ^ Wacharapluesadee S, Lumlertdacha B, Boongird K (2005). "Bat Nipah virus, Thailand". Emerging Infectious Diseases. 11 (12): 1949–51. doi:10.3201/eid1112.050613. PMC 3367639. PMID 16485487.
  8. ^ Chua KB, Koh CL, Hooi PS (2002). "Isolation of Nipah virus from Malaysian Island flying-foxes". Microbes and Infection. 4 (2): 145–51. doi:10.1016/S1286-4579(01)01522-2. PMID 11880045.
  9. ^ Lehlé C, Razafitrimo G, Razainirina J (2007). "Henipavirus and Tioman virus antibodies in pteropodid bats, Madagascar". Emerging Infectious Diseases. 13 (1): 159–61. doi:10.3201/eid1301.060791. PMC 2725826. PMID 17370536.
  10. ^ Hayman DT, et al. (2008). Montgomery JM (ed.). "Evidence of henipavirus infection in West African fruit bats". PLOS ONE. 3 (7): 2739. Bibcode:2008PLoSO...3.2739H. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0002739. PMC 2453319. PMID 18648649.
  11. ^ a b Field, H; Young, P; Yob, JM; Mills, J; Hall, L; MacKenzie, J (2001). "The natural history of Hendra and Nipah viruses". Microbes and Infection. 3 (4): 307–14. doi:10.1016/S1286-4579(01)01384-3. PMID 11334748.
  12. ^ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (30 April 1999). "Update: outbreak of Nipah virus—Malaysia and Singapore, 1999". Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 48 (16): 335–7. PMID 10366143.
  13. ^ Lai-Meng Looi; Kaw-Bing Chua (2007). "Lessons from the Nipah virus outbreak in Malaysia" (PDF). The Malaysian Journal of Pathology. 29 (2): 63–67. Archived (PDF) from the original on 30 August 2019.
  14. ^ "Nipah Virus (NiV) CDC". CDC. Archived from the original on 16 December 2017. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
  15. ^ Bioterrorism Agents/Diseases.
  16. ^ Siva SR, Chong HT, Tan CT (2009). "Ten year clinical and serological outcomes of Nipah virus infection" (PDF). Neurology Asia. 14: 53–58.
  17. ^ "Spillover – Zika, Ebola & Beyond". PBS. 3 August 2016. Retrieved 4 August 2016.
  18. ^ Kieny, Marie-Paule. "After Ebola, a Blueprint Emerges to Jump-Start R&D". Scientific American Blog Network. Retrieved 13 December 2016.
  19. ^ "LIST OF PATHOGENS". World Health Organization. Retrieved 13 December 2016.
  20. ^ "Dobbs and the viral encephalitis outbreak".. Archived thread from the Malaysian Doctors Only BBS Archived 18 April 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^ Chua KB, Chua BH, Wang CW (2002). "Anthropogenic deforestation, El Niño and the emergence of Nipah virus in Malaysia". The Malaysian Journal of Pathology. 24 (1): 15–21. PMID 16329551.
  22. ^ Chadha MS, Comer JA, Lowe L, Rota PA, Rollin PE, Bellini WJ, et al. (February 2006). "Nipah virus-associated encephalitis outbreak, Siliguri, India". Emerging Infectious Diseases. 12 (2): 235–40. doi:10.3201/eid1202.051247. PMC 3373078. PMID 16494748.
  23. ^ Eaton BT, Broder CC, Middleton D, Wang LF (January 2006). "Hendra and Nipah viruses: different and dangerous". Nature Reviews. Microbiology. 4 (1): 23–35. doi:10.1038/nrmicro1323. PMC 7097447. PMID 16357858. S2CID 24764543.
  24. ^ a b Chadha MS, Comer JA, Lowe L, Rota PA, Rollin PE, Bellini WJ, et al. (February 2006). "Nipah virus-associated encephalitis outbreak, Siliguri, India". Emerging Infectious Diseases. 12 (2): 235–40. doi:10.3201/eid1202.051247. PMC 3373078. PMID 16494748.
  25. ^ a b Hsu VP, Hossain MJ, Parashar UD, Ali MM, Ksiazek TG, Kuzmin I, et al. (December 2004). "Nipah virus encephalitis reemergence, Bangladesh". Emerging Infectious Diseases. 10 (12): 2082–7. doi:10.3201/eid1012.040701. PMC 3323384. PMID 15663842.
  26. ^ "Nipah virus outbreaks in the WHO South-East Asia Region". South-East Asia Regional Office. WHO. Archived from the original on 23 May 2018. Retrieved 23 May 2018.

External links[edit]