Pteropid bats are confirmed as the reservoir hosts of henipaviruses: A comprehensive experimental study of virus transmission

Kim Halpin, Alex D. Hyatt, Rhys Fogarty, Deborah Middleton, John Bingham, Jonathan H. Epstein, Sohayati Abdul Rahman, Tom Hughes, Craig Smith, Hume E. Field, Peter Daszak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

197 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Bats of the genus Pteropus have been identified as the reservoir hosts for the henipaviruses Hendra virus (HeV) and Nipah virus (NiV). The aim of these studies was to assess likely mechanisms for henipaviruses transmission from bats. In a series of experiments, Pteropus bats from Malaysia and Australia were inoculated with NiV and HeV, respectively, by natural routes of infection. Despite an intensive sampling strategy, no NiV was recovered from the Malaysian bats and HeV was reisolated from only one Australian bat; no disease was seen. These experiments suggest that opportunities for henipavirus transmission may be limited; therefore, the probability of a spillover event is low. For spillover to occur, a range of conditions and events must coincide. An alternate assessment framework is required if we are to fully understand how this reservoir host maintains and transmits not only these but all viruses with which it has been associated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)946-951
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Volume85
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology

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