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medrxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.12.09.21267278


Background: We report here a Nipah virus (NiV) outbreak in Kozhikode district of Kerala state, India which had caused fatal encephalitis in an adolescent male and the outbreak response which led to the successful containment of the disease and the related investigations. Methods: Quantitative real-time RT-PCR, ELISA based antibody detection and whole genome sequencing were performed to confirm the Nipah virus infection. Contacts of the index case were traced and isolated based on risk categorization. Bats from the areas near the epicentre of the outbreak were sampled for throat swabs, rectal swabs and blood samples for Nipah virus screening by real time RT-PCR and anti-Nipah virus bat IgG ELISA. Plaque reduction neutralization test was performed for the detection of neutralizing antibodies. Results: Nipah viral RNA and anti-NiV IgG antibodies were detected in the serum of the index case. Rapid establishment of an onsite NiV diagnostic facility and contact tracing helped in quick containment of the outbreak. NiV sequences retrieved from the clinical specimen of the index case formed a sub-cluster with the earlier reported Nipah I genotype sequences from India with more than 95% similarity. Anti-NiV IgG positivity could be detected in 21% of Pteropus medius and 37.73% of Rousettus leschenaultia. Neutralizing antibodies against NiV could be detected in P.medius. Conclusions: Stringent surveillance and awareness campaigns needs to be implemented in the area to reduce human-bat interactions and minimize spill over events which can lead to sporadic outbreaks of NiV.

Tumor Virus Infections , Encephalitis , COVID-19
Indian J Med Res ; 151(2 & 3): 226-235, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-113825


Background & objectives: Bats are considered to be the natural reservoir for many viruses, of which some are potential human pathogens. In India, an association of Pteropus medius bats with the Nipah virus was reported in the past. It is suspected that the recently emerged severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) also has its association with bats. To assess the presence of CoVs in bats, we performed identification and characterization of bat CoV (BtCoV) in P. medius and Rousettus species from representative States in India, collected during 2018 and 2019. Methods: Representative rectal swab (RS) and throat swab specimens of Pteropus and Rousettus spp. bats were screened for CoVs using a pan-CoV reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) targeting the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) gene. A single-step RT-PCR was performed on the RNA extracted from the bat specimens. Next-generation sequencing (NGS) was performed on a few representative bat specimens that were tested positive. Phylogenetic analysis was carried out on the partial sequences of RdRp gene sequences retrieved from both the bat species and complete viral genomes recovered from Rousettus spp. Results: Bat samples from the seven States were screened, and the RS specimens of eight Rousettus spp. and 21 Pteropus spp. were found positive for CoV RdRp gene. Among these, by Sanger sequencing, partial RdRp sequences could be retrieved from three Rousettus and eight Pteropus bat specimens. Phylogenetic analysis of the partial RdRp region demonstrated distinct subclustering of the BtCoV sequences retrieved from these Rousettus and Pteropus spp. bats. NGS led to the recovery of four sequences covering approximately 94.3 per cent of the whole genome of the BtCoVs from Rousettus bats. Three BtCoV sequences had 93.69 per cent identity to CoV BtRt-BetaCoV/GX2018. The fourth BtCoV sequence was 96.8 per cent identical to BtCoV HKU9-1. Interpretation & conclusions: This study was a step towards understanding the CoV circulation in Indian bats. Detection of potentially pathogenic CoVs in Indian bats stresses the need for enhanced screening for novel viruses in them. One Health approach with collaborative activities by the animal health and human health sectors in these surveillance activities shall be of use to public health. This would help in the development of diagnostic assays for novel viruses with outbreak potential and be useful in disease interventions. Proactive surveillance remains crucial for identifying the emerging novel viruses with epidemic potential and measures for risk mitigation.

Chiroptera/virology , Coronavirus/classification , Coronavirus/isolation & purification , Genome, Viral , Animals , High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing , India , Phylogeny , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction