Nipah virus outbreak in Malaysia

J Clin Virol. 2003 Apr;26(3):265-75. doi: 10.1016/s1386-6532(02)00268-8.


Nipah virus, a novel paramyxovirus, closely related to Hendra virus emerged in northern part of Peninsular Malaysia in 1998. The virus caused an outbreak of severe febrile encephalitis in humans with a high mortality rate, whereas, in pigs, encephalitis and respiratory diseases but with a relatively low mortality rate. The outbreak subsequently spread to various regions of the country and Singapore in the south due to the movement of infected pigs. Nipah virus caused systemic infections in humans, pigs and other mammals. Histopathological and radiological findings were characteristic of the disease. Fruitbats of Pteropid species were identified as the natural reservoir hosts. Evidence suggested that climatic and anthropogenic driven ecological changes coupled with the location of piggeries in orchard and the design of pigsties allowed the spill-over of this novel paramyxovirus from its reservoir host into the domestic pigs and ultimately to humans and other animals.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Agriculture
  • Animal Husbandry
  • Animals
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / epidemiology
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / etiology
  • Chiroptera / virology
  • Disease Outbreaks*
  • Disease Reservoirs
  • Ecology
  • Encephalitis, Viral / epidemiology*
  • Encephalitis, Viral / mortality
  • Encephalitis, Viral / virology
  • Hematologic Diseases / epidemiology
  • Hematologic Diseases / virology
  • Housing, Animal
  • Humans
  • Malaysia / epidemiology
  • Paramyxoviridae Infections / epidemiology*
  • Paramyxoviridae Infections / mortality
  • Paramyxoviridae Infections / veterinary
  • Paramyxoviridae Infections / virology
  • Paramyxovirinae / isolation & purification*
  • Population Surveillance
  • Radiography
  • Recurrence
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / diagnostic imaging
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / epidemiology
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / virology
  • Singapore / epidemiology
  • Swine
  • Swine Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Swine Diseases / transmission
  • Swine Diseases / virology