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Global Health
September 19, 2012

Nipah Virus Vaccine

JAMA. 2012;308(11):1081. doi:10.1001/2012.jama.11950

A new vaccine against Nipah virus has been shown effective in an African green monkey model, representing a major step toward development of a human vaccine for this deadly virus, report US and Canadian researchers (Bossart K et al. Sci Transl Med. 2012;4[146]:146ra107).

The Nipah virus, which is carried by fruit bats—commonly called flying foxes—can be transmitted directly to humans. The virus targets the lungs and brain and has a high fatality rate. It first appeared in Malaysia in the 1990s, and since 2001, Nipah outbreaks have occurred in Bangladesh and India.