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- The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
- Source: The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, Volume 85, Issue 5, Nov 2011, p. 946 - 951
f Pteropid Bats are Confirmed as the Reservoir Hosts of Henipaviruses: A Comprehensive Experimental Study of Virus Transmission
Bats of the genus Pteropus have been identified as the reservoir hosts for the henipaviruses Hendra virus (HeV) and Nipah virus (NiV). The aim of these studies was to assess likely mechanisms for henipaviruses transmission from bats. In a series of experiments, Pteropus bats from Malaysia and Australia were inoculated with NiV and HeV, respectively, by natural routes of infection. Despite an intensive sampling strategy, no NiV was recovered from the Malaysian bats and HeV was reisolated from only one Australian bat; no disease was seen. These experiments suggest that opportunities for henipavirus transmission may be limited; therefore, the probability of a spillover event is low. For spillover to occur, a range of conditions and events must coincide. An alternate assessment framework is required if we are to fully understand how this reservoir host maintains and transmits not only these but all viruses with which it has been associated.