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Nat Commun. 2014 Nov 18;5:5342. doi: 10.1038/ncomms6342.

Evidence for henipavirus spillover into human populations in Africa.

Author information

1
Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, California 90095, USA.
2
Global Viral/Metabiota Laboratory Sciences, San Francisco, California 90104, USA.
3
1] Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, California 90095, USA [2] Department of Microbiology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York 10029, USA.
4
Department of Pathology, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas 77555, USA.
5
Brevard Zoo Veterinary Services, Brevard Zoo, Melbourne, 32940 Florida, USA.
6
Division of Structural Biology, Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, University of Oxford, Oxford, OX3 7BN UK.
7
Department of Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, UC Davis, Davis, California 95616, USA.
8
Department of Biostatistics, School of Public Health, UCLA, Los Angeles, California 90095, USA.
9
EcoHealth Alliance, New York, New York 10001, USA.

Abstract

Zoonotic transmission of lethal henipaviruses (HNVs) from their natural fruit bat reservoirs to humans has only been reported in Australia and South/Southeast Asia. However, a recent study discovered numerous HNV clades in African bat samples. To determine the potential for HNV spillover events among humans in Africa, here we examine well-curated sets of bat (Eidolon helvum, n = 44) and human (n = 497) serum samples from Cameroon for Nipah virus (NiV) cross-neutralizing antibodies (NiV-X-Nabs). Using a vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV)-based pseudoparticle seroneutralization assay, we detect NiV-X-Nabs in 48% and 3-4% of the bat and human samples, respectively. Seropositive human samples are found almost exclusively in individuals who reported butchering bats for bushmeat. Seropositive human sera also neutralize Hendra virus and Gh-M74a (an African HNV) pseudoparticles, as well as live NiV. Butchering bat meat and living in areas undergoing deforestation are the most significant risk factors associated with seropositivity. Evidence for HNV spillover events warrants increased surveillance efforts.

PMID:
25405640
PMCID:
PMC4237230
DOI:
10.1038/ncomms6342
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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