Nipah Virus: Emergence & Epidemiology of a Dangerous Zoonotic Pathogen

Center for Infection and Immunity Distinguished Lecture Series
December 22, 2011
11:00AM-12:00PM

Mailman School of Public Health
722 W. 168th Street
8th Floor Auditorium 

Nipah Virus: Emergence & Epidemiology of a Dangerous Zoonotic Pathogen 

Steve Luby, MD
International Centre for Diarrhoeal Research, Bangladesh
Director, Centre for Communicable Diseases
Country Director, US Centers for Disease Control, US Embassy Dhaka

With human population growth and deforestation in Bangladesh, fruit bats increasingly feed on agricultural products. The spillover of Nipah virus from its fruit bat reservoir into human populations produces dramatic outbreaks where 70% of infected persons die. Outbreak investigations suggest that the primary pathways of Nipah virus spillover into humans are through consumption of fresh date palm sap, a regional delicacy that bats contaminate during collection, and human contact with Nipah virus infected domestic animals. Once people become infected, they frequently transmit infection to friends and family. This talk will review Nipah virus outbreak investigations in Bangladesh, explore the pathways of human infection, and efforts to interrupt transmission.