The post is interesting and informative. It is true that Nipah virus is an extremely lethal zoonotic paramyxovirus, which was first recognized in Malaysia in 1998. During this outbreak, Nipah virus infection caused a severe febrile neurological disease in humans who worked in close contact with infected pigs. Later, it was seen in India, Bangladesh and other SAARC nations as well, where the most prominent vector and principle reservoir found was Fruit Bats (Pteropus spp.
) (Chua et al., 2000). Fatality rate in humans was around 40%. Bat to human transmission has been presumed to be via food contaminated with the saliva of the bat. Also, consumption of contaminated raw date palm sap has facilitated human infection. Human-to-human transmission of Nipah virus has also been documented due to its contagiousness (Han et al., 2015). Till date, there are no approved prophylactic measures or treatment for NiV infection as per FDA or MHRA.
Also, we are unsure about ways of prevention. But researches are continuously looking towards developing vaccinable targets against Nipah. In a study, it has been shown that produced mammalian cell-derived native Nipah virus-like particles composed of Nipah virus strains G, F and M proteins for can be used as a novel live attenuated viral vaccine against Nipah. Other studies have demonstrated the structural, immunogenic and functional correlation of the virus- like particles with the original virus. This ensures that the scaffold for vaccine design is validated.
These purified virus-like particles were utilized either alone or with adjuvants to vaccinate in vivo models of study. Golden Syrian hamsters have been widely used for this since they are sequentially beneficial for the study. Dose was limited to three-dose to one-dose regimen followed by inflectional regimes with the virus. Observation was done to see the time- dose relationship and the decrease in infection level. Results found that these virus- like particle immunisation technique induced significant levels of neutralizing antibody titre values indicating their efficiency to prevent infection. Thus, this can also be a novel approach towards anti-Nipah vaccine design.
Besides some designs for peptide vaccines has also been proposed in few studies (Dey et al., 2018). Research on developing diagnostic tools is also going on. In such cases, Hendra Virus is also taken into accouint since Nipah and Hendra virus both belong to the genus Henipavirus in the family Paramyxoviridae. Also, both are pretty much posing threat to the world. In a study, curtail forms of HeV and NiV attachment proteins (G) as well as full length of NiV (N) Nucleocapsid have been expressed for the study with various expression systems.Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) was developed on the basis of these recombinant proteins to detect HeV and/ or NiV in porcine blood samples (serum) as a model of the research. Also, pig has been seen to be a good reservoir for such viruses.
Initially, NiV N ELISA was used, where the differentiation between HeV and NiV has been shown by the G- protein based ELISA. These results are pretty consolidating towards developing this existing and well known technique as a diagnostic tool for these viruses (Eaton et al., 2006). Such studies are also necessary to help assess the potential risk and develop new tools to detect and combat them towards eradication.
But the question is how to make them available at an affordable cost?