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Pathogens 2013, 2(2), 264-287; doi:10.3390/pathogens2020264

Henipavirus Infections: Lessons from Animal Models

Received: 6 March 2013 / Revised: 2 April 2013 / Accepted: 4 April 2013 / Published: 9 April 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogen Infection Models)
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The Henipavirus genus contains two highly lethal viruses, the Hendra and Nipah viruses and one, recently discovered, apparently nonpathogenic member; Cedar virus. These three, negative-sense single-stranded RNA viruses, are hosted by fruit bats and use EphrinB2 receptors for entry into cells. The Hendra and Nipah viruses are zoonotic pathogens that emerged in the middle of 90s and have caused severe, and often fatal, neurologic and/or respiratory diseases in both humans and different animals; including spillover into equine and porcine species. Development of relevant models is critical for a better understanding of viral pathogenesis, generating new diagnostic tools, and assessing anti-viral therapeutics and vaccines. This review summarizes available data on several animal models where natural and/or experimental infection has been demonstrated; including pteroid bats, horses, pigs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, ferrets, and nonhuman primates. It recapitulates the principal features of viral pathogenesis in these animals and current knowledge on anti-viral immune responses. Lastly it describes the recently characterized murine animal model, which provides the possibility to use numerous and powerful tools available for mice to further decipher henipaviruses immunopathogenesis, prophylaxis, and treatment. The utility of different models to analyze important aspects of henipaviruses-induced disease in humans, potential routes of transmission, and therapeutic approaches are equally discussed.
Keywords: emergent infections; zoonosis; pathogenesis; animal models emergent infections; zoonosis; pathogenesis; animal models
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Dhondt, K.P.; Horvat, B. Henipavirus Infections: Lessons from Animal Models. Pathogens 2013, 2, 264-287.

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