Henipavirus receptor usage and tropism

Olivier Pernet, Yao E. Wang, Benhur Lee

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Nipah (NiV) and Hendra (HeV) viruses are the deadliest human pathogens within the Paramyxoviridae family, which include human and animal pathogens of global biomedical importance. NiV and HeV infections cause respiratory and encephalitic illness with high mortality rates in humans. Henipaviruses (HNV) are the only Paramyxoviruses classified as biosafety level 4 (BSL4) pathogens due to their extreme pathogenicity, potential for bioterrorism, and lack of licensed vaccines and therapeutics. HNV use ephrin-B2 and ephrin-B3, highly conserved proteins, as viral entry receptors. This likely accounts for their unusually broad species tropism, and also provides opportunities to study how receptor usage, cellular tropism, and end-organ pathology relates to the pathobiology of HNV infections. The clinical and pathologic manifestations of NiV and HeV virus infections are reviewed in the chapters by Wong et al. and Geisbert et al. in this issue. Here, we will review the biology of the HNV receptors, and how receptor usage relates to HNV cell tropism in vitro and in vivo.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHenipavirus
Subtitle of host publicationEcology, Molecular Virology, and Pathogenesis
EditorsBenhur Lee, Paul Rota
Number of pages20
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameCurrent Topics in Microbiology and Immunology
ISSN (Print)0070-217X


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