Nipah virus outbreak in India: is it a bat-man conflict?
Keywords:Nipah virus, Fruit bats, Kerala, Ecosystem
Nipah virus infection is a newly emerging zoonotic disease that spreads from animal to human. The fruit bats are the one of the carriers of Nipah virus which gets transmitted from bats to other animals mainly through body fluids. Nipah can cause asymptomatic infection to the acute respiratory syndrome and fatal encephalitis in human beings with a dreadful mortality rate of 70 per cent. This review article focused on role of bats in ecosystem and preventive measure to contain the virus by improving public health. In 2018 the outbreak of Nipah in Kerala state of India claimed 17 lives. It has indeed opened Pandora’s box exposing the role of general public, health department and social media and so on. The early detection and the well-oiled medical infrastructure in the state did wonders. Though social media have been accused of spreading misinformation leading to culling of bats, the people of Kerala responded with positive frame of mind. Prompt and synchronized efforts of all stakeholders like health workers, state government, scientists, researchers and central government led to timely and successful control of Nipah virus cases in Kerala.
Tan KS, Tan CT, Goh KJ. Epidemiological aspects of Nipah virus infection. Neurol J South East Asia. 1999:77–81.
Sherrini BA, Chong TT. Nipah encephalitis—an update. Med J Malaysia. 2014;69(1):3–11.
Chua KB, Goh KJ, Wong KT, Kamarulzaman A, Tan PS, Ksiazek TG, et al. Fatal encephalitis due to Nipah virus among pig-farmers in Malaysia. Lancet. 1999;354:1257–9.
Chua KB, Koh CL, Hooi PS, Wee KF, Khong JH, Chua BH, et al. Isolation of Nipah virus from Malaysian island flying-foxes. Microbes Infect. 2002;4:145–51.
Arankalle VA, Bandyopadhyay BT, Ramdasi AY, Jadi R, Patil DR, Rehman M, et al. Genomic characterization of Nipah virus, West Bengal, India. Emerg Infect Dis. 2011;17:907–9.
Chattu VK, Kumar R, Kajal FKS, David JK. Nipah virus epidemic in southern India and emphasizing “One Health” approach to ensure global health security. J Fam Med Prim Care. 2018;7:275–87.
Kumar AAK, Kumar ASA. Deadly Nipah Outbreak in Kerala: Lessons Learned for the Future. Indian J Crit Care Med. 2018;22(7):475-6.
Ramphul K, Mejias SG, Agumadu VC, Sombans S, Sonaye R, Lohana P. The Killer Virus Called Nipah: A Review. Cureus. 2018;10(8).
Islam M, Sazzad H, Satter S, Sultana S, Hossain M, Hasan M, et al. Nipah Virus Transmission from Bats to Humans Associated with Drinking Traditional Liquor Made from Date Palm Sap, Bangladesh, 2011–2014. Emerg Infect Dis. 2016;22(4):664-70.
Yadav PD, Raut CG, Shete AM, Mishra AC, Towner JS, Nicol ST, et al. Detection of Nipah virus RNA in fruit bat (Pteropus giganteus) from India. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2012;87(3):576-8.
Ang BSP, Lim TCC, Wang L. Nipah virus infection. J Clin Microbiol. 2018;56.
"Lini Puthussery: India's 'hero' nurse who died battling Nipah virus". Available at https://www. bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-44207740. Accessed on 14 January 2019.
Balan, Sarita. "6 Nipah virus deaths in Kerala: Bat-infested house well of first victims sealed". The News Minute, 2018.
Islam MS, Sazzad HMS, Satter SM, Sultana S, Hossain MJ, Hasan M, et al. Nipah Virus Transmission from Bats to Humans Associated with Drinking Traditional Liquor Made from Date Palm Sap, Bangladesh, 2011–2014. Emerg Infect Dis. 2016;22:664–70.
Marsh GA, Wang LF. Hendra and Nipah viruses: Why are they so deadly? Curr Opin Virol. 2012;2:242–7.
Mandl JN, Schneider C, Schneider DS, Baker ML. Going to Bat(s) for Studies of Disease Tolerance. Front Immunol. 2018;9:2112.
Schountz T, Baker ML, Butler J, Munster V. Immunological Control of Viral Infections in Bats and the Emergence of Viruses Highly Pathogenic to Humans. Front Immunol. 2017;8:1098.
Pulla P. What is the connection between fruit bats and Nipah virus? The Hindu Newspaper, 2018.
Moratelli R, Calisher CH. Bats and zoonotic viruses: can we confidently link bats with emerging deadly viruses? Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz. 2015;110(1):1-22.
Kasso M, Balakrishnan M. “Ecological and Economic Importance of Bats”. ISRN Biodiversity. 2013;2013:1-9.
Barik B. Saving the flying mammals. The Telegraph, 2011.
Mistry, Shahroukh. The Bats of India- The key to protecting India’s bats is learning more about their ecology and behaviour; new studies are only beginning to reveal how important bats are to India’s diverse ecosystems. Bats Magazine. 1995;13(2).
Hahn MB, Epstein JH, Gurley ES, Islam MS, Luby SP, Daszak P, et al. Roosting behaviour and habitat selection of Pteropus giganteus reveals potential links to Nipah virus epidemiology. J Appl Ecol. 2014;51(2):376-87.
Scheelings TF, Frith SE. Anthropogenic Factors Are the Major Cause of Hospital Admission of a Threatened Species, the Grey-Headed Flying Fox (Pteropus poliocephalus), in Victoria, Australia. PLoS One. 2015;10(7).
Ruxton GD, Schaefer HM. The conservation physiology of seed dispersal. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2012;367(1596):1708-18.
Arunkumar G, Chandni R, Mourya DT, Singh SK, Sadanandan R, Sudan P, et al. Outbreak investigation of Nipah virus disease in Kerala, India, 2018. J Infect Dis. 2018.
Mourya DT, Yadav Pragya ,Sudeep AB, Gokhale MD, Gupta N, Gangakhedkar RR, et al. A spatial association between a Nipah virus outbreak in Kozhikode, Kerala, India and Nipah virus infection in Pteropus bats. Clin Infect Dis. 2018.
John H, warrior SG. Nipah infection in Kerala: Don’t Blame the bats alone; Improve public health. The News minute, 2018.
Luby SP, Gurley ES, Hossain MJ. Transmission of human infection with Nipah virus. In: Institute of Medicine (US). Improving Food Safety through a one health approach: workshop summary. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2012: 11.
Kuzmin IV, Bozick B, Guagliardo SA, Kunkel R, Shak JR, Tong S, et al. Bats, emerging infectious diseases, and the rabies paradigm revisited. Emerg Health Threats J. 2011;4:7159.
Dutta PK. India today newspaper. Nipah outbreak: How hunger stress among flying foxes started killing humans. Available at: https:// www. India-today.in/india/story/nipah-outbreak-how-hunger-stress-among-flying-foxes-started-killing-humans-12387773-2018-05-22. Accessed on 13 January 2019.