Lifestyle Health and Wellbeing 01 Jun 2018 Nipah virus: High ho ...

Nipah virus: High hopes on Australian drug

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | AMIYA MEETHAL
Published Jun 1, 2018, 2:25 am IST
Updated Jun 1, 2018, 3:09 am IST
Hopes are pinned on M 102.4 monoclonal antibody, which is expected to reach here from Australia.
The deadly Nipah virus has so far claimed 10 lived in Kerala. (Photo: ANI | Twitter)
 The deadly Nipah virus has so far claimed 10 lived in Kerala. (Photo: ANI | Twitter)

KOZHIKODE: The death of three more persons in two days has again set the NiV alarm bell ringing. Of the 19 positive cases, 17 have died. The mortality rate is too high compared to NiV-hit Malaysia, Bangladesh and Siliguri which underlines that the virus here is the most virulent.  "The mortality rate in India and Bangladesh for NiV is around 75 per cent, compared to the 40 percent rate in Malaysia. Part of this is likely due to the higher level of healthcare available in Malaysia. In addition, recent animal studies demonstrate that the Bangladesh strain of the virus is more virulent in primates than the Malaysian strain. The case fatality rate in Kerala suggests that this is one of these virulent South Asian strains," says Prof Stephen Luby, Professor of Medicine  at Stanford University, US.

Hopes are pinned on M 102.4 monoclonal antibody, which is expected to reach here from Australia. "Let us not keep high expectation on M 102.4. It was developed against Hendra virus, another virulent virus in the same family. The antibody is found to be effective in NiV patients also. But when M 102.4 was tried in African green monkey, it was found that the drug was not able to combat Bangladesh type NiV. Studies say that it is better than Ribavirin," says Dr K.P Aravindan, former Pathology HoD at Calicut Medical College. 

 

"We do not have good treatment for NiV. Ribavirin has not been effective in animal models. M 102.4 has been effective in animal models, if given early enough, but with the rapid progression of human Nipah infection, M 102.4 has never been deployed soon enough so that we can be confident it was effective," concluded Prof Steve.

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Location: India, Kerala




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