Surveillance Of Nipah Virus In India

Nipah virus is an emerging zoonotic virus; that spills over from bats to humans causing severe disease and chains of transmission in humans. The henipaviruses, including Nipah virus and Hendra virus, are highly lethal, emerging, bat-borne viruses within the family Paramyxoviridae that infect humans directly or via domestic animals that function as bridging hosts.

But the study goal is to help pinpoint additional species with a high likelihood of carrying Nipah; but to target surveillance and protect public health. The public health community has again been forcing into reactive mode. Our study is a starting point for the research needing to contain Nipah at its source; so we are managing spillover risk, instead of human suffering.

Nipah virus in india

But Nipah virus is a highly lethal;  emerging henipavirus; that can be transmitting to people from the body fluids of infecting bats. Eating fruit or drinking date palm sap that has been contaminating by bats has been flagging as a transmission pathway. Once infecting, people can spread the virus directly to other people, sparking an outbreak.

Domestic pigs are also bridging hosts that can infect people. There is no vaccine and the virus has a high mortality rate. Bat-borne viruses are finding all over the world; yet surveillance and sampling efforts have been patchy; There are likely many competent Nipah hosts that have not been identified. For this reason, there is a need to devise new methods that take all available data into account to guide sampling efforts in India and in other regions.

Nipah-positive bat species

Their algorithm identified known Nipah-positive bat species with 83% accuracy. It also identifying six bat species that occur in Asia, Australia, and Oceana that have traits that could make them competent hosts and should be prioritized for surveillance. Four of these species occur in India, two of which are found in Kerala.

Surveilling high-risk bat populations can provide early warning for veterinarians and public health authorities to take preventative measures needed to preempt an outbreak. Identifying which species harbor disease is an important first step in surveillance planning. We also need to prioritize research on which virus strains pose the greatest risk to people. Ultimately, the goal is to extinguish risk, not fight fires.