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Nipah virus PCR test
wildlife and zoo assay data sheet

Nipah virus

Test code:
S0209 - Ultrasensitive detection of Nipah virus by reverse transcription coupled real time PCR

 

Nipah virus (NiV) is a member of genus Henipavirus of the family Paramyxoviridae. It was initially isolated and identified in 1999 during an outbreak of encephalitis and respiratory illness among pig farmers and people with close contact with pigs in Malaysia and Singapore. Its name is derived from Sungai Nipah, a village in the Malaysian Peninsula where pig farmers became ill with encephalitis.

Pigs infected with this virus have relatively mild symptoms. However, infection of humans with this virus can result in severe illness. When humans are exposed to this virus, there is an incubation period of 5 to 14 days, patients then develop fever and headache for 3-14 days, followed by drowsiness, disorientation and mental confusion. These signs and symptoms can progress to coma within 24-48 hours. Some patients have a respiratory illness during the early part of their infections, and half of the patients showing severe neurological signs showed also pulmonary signs.

Even though patients may have recovered from infection, some patients can develop persistent convulsions and personality changes. Latent infections, with subsequent reactivation of the virus and death, have been reported months and even years after exposure.

Flying foxes of the genus Pteropus have been identified as the reservoir for this virus. Transmission of the virus to humans results from direct contact with infected bats, infected pigs, or other infected people.

Laboratory diagnosis of this viral infection can be achieved through virus isolation, but this method is slow and not very sensitive. Serological detection of antibody is not suitable for early detection of the infection because it takes a few weeks for the antibody to develop in patients. Real time PCR testing of throat and nasal swabs, cerebrospinal fluid, urine, or blood can be performed in early stages of the disease. This type of molecular detection is sensitive, rapid and specific (Guillaume, 2004).

Utilities:

  • Help confirm the disease causing agent
  • Identify Nipah virus carriers
  • Help ensure that animal herds and populations are free of Nipah virus
  • Early prevention of spread of this virus among animals
  • Minimize human exposure to this virus
  • Safety monitoring of biological products that derive from animals

References:
Guillaume, V., Lefeuvre, A., Faure, C., Marianneau, P., Buckland, R., Lam, S.K., Wild, T.F. and Deubel, V. (2004) Specific detection of Nipah virus using real-time RT-PCR (TaqMan) J. Virol. Methods 120:229-237.

Specimen requirements: 0.2 ml whole blood in EDTA (purple top) or ACD (yellow top) tube, or nasal or throat swabs, or 0.2 ml urine, or 0.2 ml CSF, or 0.2 ml fresh or frozen tissue.

For specimen types other than those listed here, please call to confirm specimen acceptability and shipping instructions.

For all specimen types, if there will be a delay in shipping, or during very warm weather, refrigerate specimens until shipped and ship with a cold pack unless more stringent shipping requirements are specified. Frozen specimens should be shipped so as to remain frozen in transit. See shipping instructions for more information.

Turnaround time: 2 business days

Methodology: Qualitative reverse transcription coupled real time PCR

Normal range: Nondetected

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