Hendra virus (HeV) and Nipah virus (NiV) are zoonotic viruses that emerged in the mid to late 1990s causing disease outbreaks in livestock and people. HeV appeared in Queensland, Australia in 1994 causing a severe respiratory disease in horses along with a human case fatality. NiV emerged a few years later in Malaysia and Singapore in 1998-1999 causing a large outbreak of encephalitis with high mortality in people and also respiratory disease in pigs which served as amplifying hosts. The key pathological elements of HeV and NiV infection in several species of mammals, and also in people, are a severe systemic and often fatal neurologic and/or respiratory disease. In people, both HeV and NiV are also capable of causing relapsed encephalitis following recovery from an acute infection. The known reservoir hosts of HeV and NiV are several species of pteropid fruit bats. Spillovers of HeV into horses continue to occur in Australia and NiV has caused outbreaks in people in Bangladesh and India nearly annually since 2001, making HeV and NiV important transboundary biological threats. NiV in particular possesses several features that underscore its potential as a pandemic threat, including its ability to infect humans directly from natural reservoirs or indirectly from other susceptible animals, along with a capacity of limited human-to-human transmission. Several HeV and NiV animal challenge models have been developed which have facilitated an understanding of pathogenesis and allowed for the successful development of both active and passive immunization countermeasures.
Keywords: Animal models; Antiviral; Hendra; Henipavirus; Monoclonal antibody; Nipah; Paramyxovirus; Pathogenesis; Vaccine.
Published by Elsevier Ltd.