Nipah virus in Lyle's flying foxes, Cambodia

Emerg Infect Dis. 2005 Jul;11(7):1042-7. doi: 10.3201/eid1107.041350.


We conducted a survey in Cambodia in 2000 on henipavirus infection among several bat species, including flying foxes, and persons exposed to these animals. Among 1,072 bat serum samples tested by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, antibodies reactive to Nipah virus (NiV) antigen were detected only in Pteropus lylei species; Cynopterus sphinx, Hipposideros larvatus, Scotophilus kuhlii, Chaerephon plicata, Taphozous melanopogon, and T. theobaldi species were negative. Seroneutralization applied on a subset of 156 serum samples confirmed these results. None of the 8 human serum samples was NiV seropositive with the seroneutralization test. One virus isolate exhibiting cytopathic effect with syncytia was obtained from 769 urine samples collected at roosts of P. lylei specimens. Partial molecular characterization of this isolate demonstrated that it was closely related to NiV. These results strengthen the hypothesis that flying foxes could be the natural host of NiV. Surveillance of human cases should be implemented.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cambodia / epidemiology
  • Chiroptera / virology*
  • Henipavirus Infections / epidemiology
  • Henipavirus Infections / veterinary*
  • Henipavirus Infections / virology
  • Humans
  • Nipah Virus / genetics
  • Nipah Virus / isolation & purification*
  • Phylogeny