Archives of Virology

, Volume 150, Issue 3, pp 521-532

RNA synthesis during infection by Hendra virus: an examination by quantitative real-time PCR of RNA accumulation, the effect of ribavirin and the attenuation of transcription

  • P. J. WrightAffiliated withCSIRO Livestock Industries, Australian Animal Health Laboratory
  • , G. CrameriAffiliated withCSIRO Livestock Industries, Australian Animal Health Laboratory
  • , B. T. EatonAffiliated withCSIRO Livestock Industries, Australian Animal Health Laboratory

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Hendra virus is one of two virus species within the newly-formed genus Henipavirus, subfamily Paramxyovirinae. It is a designated select agent with potential biosecurity threat to both human and animal health. Quantitative real-time PCR was used to measure viral RNA synthesis in Vero cells infected by Hendra virus, and to examine the inhibitory effect of ribavirin. It was also used to determine the points of attenuation during transcription of the six viral genes N, P, M, F, G and L by targeting amplicons located towards the 3′ end of each gene. Major increases in viral RNA and virus yield occurred between 4 to 8 h and 8 to 10 h post infection, respectively. The effect of ribavirin was examined at a range of concentrations up to 400 µm. At 50 µm, RNA synthesis was reduced 9 fold, and virus yield 58 fold. As expected for a member of the order Mononegavirales, a gradient of transcription was observed in Hendra virus-infected cells. There was significant attenuation at the M-F and G-L junctions, more closely resembling Sendai virus (genus Respirovirus) than measles virus (genus Morbillivirus).