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Bats never travels long distance, yet bats from kozhikodu hosts the nipah virus ..How it happens ..? Nipah virus reported from Malaysia and Bangladesh now reached kozhikodu, How ? Human Nipah virus (NiV) infection was first recognized in a large outbreak of 276 reported cases in peninsular Malaysia and Singapore from September 1998 through May 1999 (Chua, 2003; Chua et al., 2000; Paton et al., 1999). Most patients had contact with sick pigs (Parashar et al., 2000).

The growth of large intensively managed commercial pig farms in Malaysia with fruit trees on the farm created an environment where bats could drop partially eaten fruit contaminated with NiV laden bat saliva into pig stalls. The pigs could eat the fruit, become infected with NiV, and efficiently transmit virus to other pigs because of the dense pig population on the farms, frequent respiratory shedding of the virus among infected pigs (Middleton et al., 2002), and the pigs' high birth rate that regularly brought newly susceptible young pigs into the population at risk (Epstein et al., 2006).

Kerala's Kozhikode is on high alert as a deadly virus called 'Nipah' (NiV) claimed six lives in the state. The fast-spreading virus Nipah reported has a mortality rate of 70 per cent. The central government on Monday sent a multi-disciplinary Central team from the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to the district in the wake of deaths due to Nipah virus outbreak.

Nipah virus (NiV) infection is a newly emerging zoonosis that causes severe disease in both humans and animals. Zoonosis means a disease that can be transmitted to humans from animals.

The natural host of the virus is fruit bats of the Pteropodidae Family, Pteropus genus (fruit-eating species), according to WHO.


How does it spread?

Transmission of Nipah virus takes place through direct contact with infected bats, pigs, or from other NiV-infected people.


What are the symptoms of Nipah virus infection?

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, infection with Nipah virus is associated with encephalitis (inflammation of the brain). An infected person shows symptoms of fever and headache within three-14 days of exposure and an incubation period of five to 14 days.

The clinical signs are fever, headache, dizziness and vomiting, followed by drowsiness, disorientation and mental confusion. More than 50 per cent of the patients faced a reduced level of consciousness and prominent brain-stem dysfunction. Some patients have a respiratory illness during the early part of their infections, and half of the patients showing severe neurological signs showed also pulmonary signs.

RNA editing

RNA editing is a molecular process through which some cells can make discrete changes to specific nucleotide sequences within an RNA molecule after it has been generated by RNA polymerase. RNA editing is relatively rare, and common forms of RNA processing (e.g. splicing, 5'-capping, and 3'-polyadenylation) are not usually included as editing. The editing events may include the insertion, deletion, and base substitution of nucleotides within the edited RNA molecule.

RNA editing has been observed in some tRNA, rRNA, mRNA, or miRNA molecules of eukaryotes and their viruses, archaea, and prokaryotes. RNA editing occurs in the cell nucleus and cytosol, as well as within mitochondria and plastids. In vertebrates, editing is rare and usually consists of a small number of changes to the sequence of affected molecules. In other organisms, extensive editing (pan-editing) can occur; in some cases the majority of nucleotides in a mRNA sequence may result from editing.

RNA-editing processes show great molecular diversity, and some appear to be evolutionarily recent acquisitions that arose independently. The diversity of RNA editing phenomena includes nucleobase modifications such as cytidine (C) to uridine (U) and adenosine (A) to inosine (I) deaminations, as well as non-templated nucleotide additions and insertions. RNA editing in mRNAs effectively alters the amino acid sequence of the encoded protein so that it differs from that predicted by the genomic DNA sequence.



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