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Hendra Virus

Hendra virus (HeV) infection is a rare and emerging zoonotic disease so far confined to Australia. Its reservoir was identified as ‘flying foxes’ fruit bats belonging to the Pteropodidae family. The virus causes severe and often fatal illness in both horses and humans (WHO, 2024).

Hendra Virus Background

The first recorded outbreak of Hendra virus occurred in 1994 in the Brisbane suburb of Hendra, Australia. This outbreak involved 21 stabled racehorses and resulted in two human cases. Since then, as of July 2016, there have been 53 reported incidents of the disease, involving over 70 horses. All cases have been confined to the north-eastern coast of Australia. Seven humans have contracted Hendra virus from infected horses, primarily through close contact during the care or necropsy of ill or deceased horses (WHO, 2024). Hendra virus can be transmitted to humans through contact with bodily fluids, tissues, or excretions from horses infected with the virus. Following an incubation period ranging from 9 to 16 days, Hendra virus infection can result in respiratory illness characterized by severe flu-like symptoms. In certain instances, the illness may advance to encephalitis. While instances of Hendra virus infection are infrequent, the associated case fatality rate is high, with 4 out of 7 cases resulting in death, equating to a 57% fatality rate. Horses themselves may become infected by encountering the virus present in the urine of infected flying foxes (Pteropid bats). Importantly, there is no documented evidence of human-to-human transmission of the virus thus far (CDC, 2022). The Pteropid bats serve as the natural reservoir for various significant zoonotic viruses, including Nipah and Ebola viruses. The sole commercially accessible vaccine for horses against Hendra virus, known as Equivac HeV, is produced by Zoetis in Parkville, Victoria, Australia. However, there is currently no commercially available vaccine for human (Wang et al., 2023).

 

References

CDC (2022) Hendra virus disease, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/vhf/hendra/index.html

Wang, X., Wise, J.C. and Stewart, A.J. (2023) ‘Hendra virus’, Veterinary Clinics of North America: Equine Practice, 39(1), pp. 89–98. doi:10.1016/j.cveq.2022.11.009.

WHO (2024) Hendra virus infection, World Health Organization. Available at: https://www.who.int/health-topics/hendra-virus-disease#tab=tab_1

Hendra Virus Antigens

The Native Antigen Company offers Hendra virus glycoprotein G, suitable for use in assay development and vaccine research.

Expressed as tagged protein, purification handle has been removed by proteolytic cleavage of the fusion protein.

Bulk quantities available, please enquire at: nac.contact@lgcgroup.com

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