Research ArticleInfectious Disease

Therapeutic Treatment of Nipah Virus Infection in Nonhuman Primates with a Neutralizing Human Monoclonal Antibody

Science Translational Medicine  25 Jun 2014:
Vol. 6, Issue 242, pp. 242ra82
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3008929

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Time’s Up for Nipah Virus

A human antibody may be the key for treating a deadly viral infection. Geisbert et al. report that a human monoclonal antibody to the emerging zoonotic paramyxovirus Nipah virus (NiV) can treat nonhuman primates at the onset of clinical symptoms. Fruit bats are the natural reservoir for NiV. However, NiV can infect a broad range of mammalian species, and exposed pigs may serve as an intermediary for human infection, which is frequently fatal. There is currently no approved human treatment for NiV, and previous studies have only shown efficacy after infection—but before the onset of clinical symptoms. Now, a human monoclonal antibody has resulted in survival in all animals treated, even after the development of clinical symptoms. This antibody represents a potential new therapeutic strategy for this emerging viral infection.