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Hendra and Nipah viruses: pathogenesis, animal models and recent breakthroughs in vaccination

Authors Weingartl H

Received 12 April 2015

Accepted for publication 13 June 2015

Published 28 September 2015 Volume 2015:5 Pages 59—74


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Professor Don Diamond

Hana M Weingartl

National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Winnipeg, MB, Canada

Abstract: Hendra and Nipah viruses are two highly pathogenic zoonotic members of the genus Henipavirus, family Paramyxoviridae, requiring work under biosafety level 4 conditions due to a lack of effective therapy and human vaccines. Several vaccine candidates were protective in animal models: recombinant vaccinia virus expressing Nipah virus (NiV) F and G proteins in hamsters against NiV; recombinant ALVAC–NiV F and G in swine against NiV; recombinant Hendra virus (HeV) soluble G protein (sGHeV) against HeV and NiV in cats, ferrets, horses, and African green monkeys (AGM); recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus-based vectors expressing NiV F or G against NiV in hamsters and ferrets; measles virus-based NiV G vaccine candidate in hamsters and AGMs against NiV; and adenoassociated virus expressing NiG protein, which protected hamsters against NiV. The sGHeV was licensed for use in horses (Equivac HeV®) in 2012. It is the first vaccine candidate licensed against a biosafety level 4 agent. With the development of suitable animal models (ferret, hamster and, importantly, AGM), progress can be made toward development of a human vaccine.

Keywords: henipavirus, equine, swine, human infection, animal models, vaccine candidates

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