|Description:||These three transmission electron microscopic (TEM) images reveal some of the ultrastructural morphology found in the Nipah virus (NiV). The figure at the top depicts a negative stain electron microscopic (EM) image of a single long stranded nucleocapsid, on the bottom left depicts a thin section EM image of a mature virus particle, and on the bottom right depicts a thin section EM image of nucleocapsids apposed to the plasma membrane of an infected cell.|
NiV is a member of the family Paramyxoviridae, and is related, but not identical to Hendra virus. Nipah virus was initially isolated in 1999 upon examining samples from an outbreak of encephalitis and respiratory illness among adult men in Malaysia and Singapore.
Infection with Nipah virus is associated with an encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) characterized by fever and drowsiness and more serious central nervous system disease, such as coma, seizures, and inability to maintain breathing.
Illness with Nipah virus begins with 3-14 days of fever and headache. This is followed by drowsiness and disorientation characterized by mental confusion. These signs and symptoms can progress to coma within 24-48 hours. Some patients have had a respiratory illness during the early part of their infections.
The natural reservoir for Hendra virus is thought to be flying foxes (bats of the genus Pteropus) found in Australia. The natural reservoir for Nipah virus is still under investigation, but preliminary data suggest that bats of the genus Pteropus are also the reservoirs for Nipah virus in Malaysia.