NIPAH/HENDRA: Understanding the Links Between Human and Veterinary Emerging Diseases
Animals constitute an important source of infectious diseases for humans and the majority of recent emerging diseases in humans are zoonotic. Infections occur through direct or indirect transmission from wildlife reservoirs or via the food chain. Nipah and Hendra viruses have recently joined the growing list of viruses that emerged from bats to cause serious disease in humans and livestock. Although the precise mode of virus transmission is not fully understood, human infection appears to be the result of close contact with infected horses and pigs that act as amplifying hosts. Improved control strategies are necessary to reduce the transmission risk, including surveillance, management and vaccination of livestock and human populations at risk. Currently there is no commercial vaccine available, although several experimental vaccines are in the pipeline that look promising and are considered for development. In this paper, the pros and cons of the different platforms for vaccine development will be discussed.
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