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Henipaviruses - unanswered questions of lethal zoonoses.

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Field, H. and Kung, N. (2011) Henipaviruses - unanswered questions of lethal zoonoses. Current Opinion in Virology, 1 (6). pp. 658-661.

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Article Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.coviro.2011.10.025


The highly lethal Hendra and Nipah viruses have been described for little more than a decade, yet within that time have been aetiologically associated with major livestock and human health impacts, albeit on a limited scale. Do these emerging pathogens pose a broader threat, or are they inconsequential 'viral chatter'. Given their lethality, and the evident multi-generational human-to-human transmission associated with Nipah virus in Bangladesh, it seems prudent to apply the precautionary principle. While much is known of their clinical, pathogenic and epidemiologic features in livestock species and humans, a number of fundamental questions regarding the relationship between the viruses, their natural fruit-bat host and the environment remain unanswered. In this paper, we pose and probe these questions in context, and offer perspectives based primarily on our experience with Hendra virus in Australia, augmented with Nipah virus parallels.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Biosecurity Queensland
Additional Information:© Crown Copyright 2010.
Keywords:Hendra viruse; Nipah viruse; pathogens; livestock; human health; fruit bats; environment; emerging infectious diseases.
Subjects:Veterinary medicine > Diseases of special classes of animals
Veterinary medicine
Live Archive:27 Mar 2012 06:47
Last Modified:03 Sep 2021 16:44

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