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.