Treatment of acute Nipah encephalitis with ribavirin

Ann Neurol. 2001 Jun;49(6):810-3. doi: 10.1002/ana.1062.

Abstract

Nipah virus, a newly identified paramyxovirus caused a severe outbreak of encephalitis in Malaysia with high fatalities. We report an open-label trial of ribavirin in 140 patients, with 54 patients who were managed prior to the availability of ribavirin or refused treatment as control. There were 45 deaths (32%) in the ribavirin arm; 29 deaths (54%) occurred in the control arm. This represents a 36% reduction in mortality (p = 0.011). There was no associated serious side effect. This study suggests that ribavirin is able to reduce the mortality of acute Nipah encephalitis.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group
  • China / ethnology
  • Encephalitis, Viral / drug therapy*
  • Encephalitis, Viral / mortality
  • Encephalitis, Viral / physiopathology
  • Encephalitis, Viral / virology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Malaysia
  • Male
  • Paramyxovirinae / classification
  • Paramyxovirinae / isolation & purification
  • Paramyxovirinae / physiology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Ribavirin / adverse effects
  • Ribavirin / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Treatment Refusal

Substances

  • Ribavirin