Volume 359 of the series Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology pp 41-58


Molecular Virology of the Henipaviruses

  • Paul A. RotaAffiliated withMS-C-22, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Email author 
  • , Michael K. LoAffiliated withMS-C-22, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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Nipah (NiV) and Hendra (HeV) viruses comprise the genus Henipavirus and are highly pathogenic paramyxoviruses, which cause fatal encephalitis and respiratory disease in humans. Since their respective initial outbreaks in 1998 and 1994, they have continued to cause sporadic outbreaks resulting in fatal disease. Due to their designation as Biosafety Level 4 pathogens, the level of containment required to work with live henipaviruses is available only to select laboratories around the world. This chapter provides an overview of the molecular virology of NiV and HeV including comparisons to other, well-characterized paramyxoviruses. This chapter also describes the sequence diversity present among the henipaviruses.