Author(s): Weingartl H, Czub S, Copps J, Berhane Y, Middleton D,
Abstract Share this page
Abstract Nipah virus, a newly emerged zoonotic paramyxovirus, infects a number of species. Human infections were linked to direct contact with pigs, specifically with their body fluids. Clinical signs in human cases indicated primarily involvement of the central nervous system, while in pigs the respiratory system was considered the primary virus target, with only rare involvement of the central nervous system. Eleven 5-week-old piglets were infected intranasally, orally, and ocularly with 2.5 x 10(5) PFU of Nipah virus per animal and euthanized between 3 and 8 days postinoculation. Nipah virus caused neurological signs in two out of eleven inoculated pigs. The rest of the pigs remained clinically healthy. Virus was detected in the respiratory system (turbinates, nasopharynx, trachea, bronchus, and lung in titers up to 10(5.3) PFU/g) and in the lymphoreticular system (endothelial cells of blood and lymphatic vessels, submandibular and bronchiolar lymph nodes, tonsil, and spleen with titers up to 10(6) PFU/g). Virus presence was confirmed in the nervous system of both sick and apparently healthy animals (cranial nerves, trigeminal ganglion, brain, and cerebrospinal fluid, with titers up to 10(7.7) PFU/g of tissue). Nipah virus distribution was confirmed by immunohistochemistry. The study presents novel findings indicating that Nipah virus invaded the central nervous system of the porcine host via cranial nerves as well as by crossing the blood-brain barrier after initial virus replication in the upper respiratory tract.
This article was published in J Virol
and referenced in Journal of Bioterrorism & Biodefense