Potential for Person-to-Person Transmission of Henipaviruses: A Systematic Review of the Literature

Sonia Tara Hegde, Kyu Han Lee, Ashley Styczynski, Forrest K. Jones, Isabella Gomes, Pritimoy Das, Emily S. Gurley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Nipah virus Bangladesh (NiVB) is a bat-borne zoonosis transmitted between people through the respiratory route. The risk posed by related henipaviruses, including Hendra virus (HeV) and Nipah virus Malaysia (NiVM), is less clear. We conducted a broad search of the literature encompassing both human infections and animal models to synthesize evidence about potential for person-to-person spread. More than 600 human infections have been reported in the literature, but information on viral shedding was only available for 40 case-patients. There is substantial evidence demonstrating person-to-person transmission of NiVB, and some evidence for NiVM. Less direct evidence is available about the risk for person-to-person transmission of HeV, but animals infected with HeV shed more virus in the respiratory tract than those infected with NiVM, suggesting potential for transmission. As the group of known henipaviruses continues to grow, shared protocols for conducting and reporting from human investigations and animal experiments are urgently needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)733-742
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 15 2024


  • Henipavirus
  • Person-to-person transmission
  • Systematic review
  • Zoonosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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