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J Comp Pathol. 2007 May;136(4):266-72.

Experimental Nipah virus infection in pteropid bats (Pteropus poliocephalus).

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  • 1Australian Animal Health Laboratory, CSIRO Livestock Industries PB 24, Geelong 3220, Victoria, Australia. <>


Seventeen grey-headed fruit bats (Pteropus poliocephalus) were inoculated subcutaneously with an isolate of Nipah virus derived from a fatally infected human. A control group of eight guinea-pigs was inoculated intraperitoneally with the same isolate in order to confirm virulence. Three of eight infected guinea-pigs developed clinical signs 7-9 days post-inoculation. Infected fruit bats developed a subclinical infection characterized by the transient presence of virus within selected viscera, episodic viral excretion and seroconversion. A range of histopathological changes was observed within the tissues of infected bats. Nipah virus was excreted in bat urine while neutralizing antibody was present in serum. This intermittent, low-level excretion of Nipah virus in the urine of bats may be sufficient to sustain the net reproductive value of the virus in a species where there is regular urine contamination of the fur, mutual grooming, and where urine droplets are a feature of the environment.

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