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Curr Top Microbiol Immunol. 2012;359:153-77. doi: 10.1007/82_2012_208.

Animal challenge models of henipavirus infection and pathogenesis.

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Galveston National Laboratory, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX, USA.


The henipaviruses, Hendra virus (HeV), and Nipah virus (NiV), are enigmatic emerging pathogens that causes severe and often fatal neurologic and/or respiratory disease in both animals and humans. Amongst people, case fatality rates range between 40 and 75% and there are no vaccines or treatments approved for human use. A number of species of animals including guinea pigs, hamsters, cats, ferrets, pigs, and African green monkeys have been employed as animal models of human henipavirus infection. Here, we review the development of animal models for henipavirus infection, discuss the pathology and pathogenesis of these models, and assess the utility of each model to recapitulate important aspects of henipavirus-mediated disease seen in humans.

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