Nipah virus--a potential agent of bioterrorism?

Antiviral Res. 2003 Jan;57(1-2):113-9. doi: 10.1016/s0166-3542(02)00204-8.


Nipah virus, a newly emerging deadly paramyxovirus isolated during a large outbreak of viral encephalitis in Malaysia, has many of the physical attributes to serve as a potential agent of bioterrorism. The outbreak caused widespread panic and fear because of its high mortality and the inability to control the disease initially. There were considerable social disruptions and tremendous economic loss to an important pig-rearing industry. This highly virulent virus, believed to be introduced into pig farms by fruit bats, spread easily among pigs and was transmitted to humans who came into close contact with infected animals. From pigs, the virus was also transmitted to other animals such as dogs, cats, and horses. The Nipah virus has the potential to be considered an agent of bioterrorism.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Agricultural Workers' Diseases / epidemiology
  • Agricultural Workers' Diseases / virology
  • Animals
  • Bioterrorism*
  • Cats
  • Disease Outbreaks*
  • Disease Reservoirs
  • Dogs
  • Humans
  • Malaysia / epidemiology
  • Paramyxoviridae Infections / epidemiology*
  • Paramyxoviridae Infections / transmission
  • Paramyxoviridae Infections / virology
  • Paramyxovirinae* / isolation & purification
  • Paramyxovirinae* / pathogenicity
  • Swine / virology
  • Swine Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Swine Diseases / virology
  • Zoonoses / epidemiology
  • Zoonoses / virology