High Pathogenicity of Nipah Virus from Pteropus lylei Fruit Bats, Cambodia

Emerg Infect Dis. 2020 Jan;26(1):104-113. doi: 10.3201/eid2601.191284.


We conducted an in-depth characterization of the Nipah virus (NiV) isolate previously obtained from a Pteropus lylei bat in Cambodia in 2003 (CSUR381). We performed full-genome sequencing and phylogenetic analyses and confirmed CSUR381 is part of the NiV-Malaysia genotype. In vitro studies revealed similar cell permissiveness and replication of CSUR381 (compared with 2 other NiV isolates) in both bat and human cell lines. Sequence alignments indicated conservation of the ephrin-B2 and ephrin-B3 receptor binding sites, the glycosylation site on the G attachment protein, as well as the editing site in phosphoprotein, suggesting production of nonstructural proteins V and W, known to counteract the host innate immunity. In the hamster animal model, CSUR381 induced lethal infections. Altogether, these data suggest that the Cambodia bat-derived NiV isolate has high pathogenic potential and, thus, provide insight for further studies and better risk assessment for future NiV outbreaks in Southeast Asia.

Keywords: CSUR381; Cambodia; NiV-Malaysia genotype; Nipah virus; Pteropus bats; Pteropus lylei; animal model; emerging infection; fruit bats; hamster; henipavirus; pathogenicity; phosphoprotein; phylogenetic analysis; sequencing; spillover; viruses; zoonoses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cambodia
  • Chiroptera / virology*
  • Genome, Viral / genetics
  • Henipavirus Infections / epidemiology
  • Henipavirus Infections / veterinary*
  • Henipavirus Infections / virology
  • Humans
  • Nipah Virus / genetics
  • Nipah Virus / pathogenicity*
  • Phylogeny
  • RNA, Viral / genetics
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Whole Genome Sequencing


  • RNA, Viral