METHODS: We conducted molecular detection, genetic characterization, and Bayesian time-scale evolution analyses of NiV using pooled Pteropid bat roost urine samples from an outbreak area in 2012 and archived RNA samples from NiV case patients identified during 2012-2018 in Bangladesh.
RESULTS: NiV-RNA was detected in 19% (38/456) of bat roost urine samples and among them; nine N gene sequences were recovered. We also retrieved sequences from 53% (21 out of 39) of archived RNA samples from patients. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that all Bangladeshi strains belonged to NiV-BD genotype and had an evolutionary rate of 4.64 × 10-4 substitutions/site/year. The analyses suggested that the strains of NiV-BD genotype diverged during 1995 and formed two sublineages.
CONCLUSION: This analysis provides further evidence that the NiV strains of the Malaysian and Bangladesh genotypes diverged recently and continue to evolve. More extensive surveillance of NiV in bats and human will be helpful to explore strain diversity and virulence potential to infect humans through direct or person-to-person virus transmission.
METHODS: The pathogenic potential of HeV and both strains of NiV (Malaysia, Bangladesh) was assessed in cynomolgus monkeys and compared with henipavirus-infected historical control AGMs. Multiplex gene and protein expression assays were used to compare host responses.
RESULTS: In contrast to AGMs, in which henipaviruses cause severe and usually lethal disease, HeV and NiVs caused only mild or asymptomatic infections in macaques. All henipaviruses replicated in macaques with similar kinetics as in AGMs. Infection in macaques was associated with activation and predicted recruitment of cytotoxic CD8+ T cells, Th1 cells, IgM+ B cells, and plasma cells. Conversely, fatal outcome in AGMs was associated with aberrant innate immune signaling, complement dysregulation, Th2 skewing, and increased secretion of MCP-1.
CONCLUSION: The restriction factors identified in macaques can be harnessed for development of effective countermeasures against henipavirus disease.