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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 23  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 65-68

Nipah virus: Biology, disease, treatment, control, and prevention

Department of Microbiology, MGIMS, Sevagram, Wardha, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Rahul Narang
Department of Microbiology, MGIMS, Sevagram, Wardha, Maharashtra - 442 102
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jmgims.jmgims_39_18

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Nipah virus (NiV), an RNA virus, belongs to genus Henipahvirus of family Paramyxoviridiae. First isolated and identified in Malaysia in 1999, NiV affects humans as well as animals such as pigs, cattle, cats, dogs, ponies etc. Fruit bats of genus Pteropus serve as reservoir host for NiV. Bangladesh has experienced almost annual outbreaks while there have been few outbreaks in India, the latest was in Kerala state in 2018. NiV has become an important human pathogen causing acute encephalitis syndrome associated with high mortality. Central nervous and respiratory systems are involved mainly along with multi-organ vasculitis and infection of endothelial cells. In early stages of disease, laboratory diagnosis can be made by isolation as well as real time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) from throat swabs, nasal swabs, cerebrospinal fluid, urine and blood. In later stages, serological tests for antibody detection using ELISA are useful. Immuno-histochemistry on tissues collected after autopsy can also be performed. There is no specific treatment available for this infection and supportive therapy along with barrier nursing is mode of treatment. Monoclonal antibodies and vaccines against NiV have been found effective in animals but are yet to be tested in humans. The infection can be prevented in endemic areas by reducing exposure to fruit bats, pigs and date palm sap.

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