what is langya henipavirus (layv)?
As the world continues to face significant challenges with SARS-CoV-2 and monkeypox viruses, a group of researchers from China, Singapore and Australia recently identified a previously unknown and phylogenetically distinct henipavirus called Langya henipavirus (LAYV). Although more research is required to determine its characteristics and viral behavior, the discovery of the new virus has caused great concern about whether it could be capable of causing a new pandemic. Read on for the latest information on langya henipavirus (layv), its possible sources, transmission, and symptoms, and learn more about the latest updates on testing, vaccination, and treatment options available for the treatment of langya henipavirus. langya (layv).
what causes langya henipavirus (layv)?
langya henipavirus (layv) is a zoonotic henipavirus classified in the family paramyxoviridae. It was detected during sentinel surveillance of febrile patients with a recent history of animal exposure in China. the virus was discovered in a patient’s throat swab sample by metagenomic analysis and virus isolation. Further investigations have revealed that Langya henipavirus (LAYV) has caused a total of acute infections in a total of 35 patients) in Northeast China’s Henan and Shandong provinces since 2018. Sharing the same genus, Langya henipavirus (LAYV) it is closely related to nipah virus and hendra virus, which are known to infect humans and cause life-threatening illness, along with other henipaviruses found in bats, rodents, and shrews. however, the closest phylogenetically relative of langya henipavirus (layv) was found to be mojiang henipavirus, which was identified in southern China.
what is the natural host of henipavirus langya (layv)?
Further research is required to determine the exact natural reservoir of langya henipavirus (layv). however, a serological survey conducted by zhang et al. (2022) have identified the shrew as a potential natural reservoir of layv. in fact, the serological survey has revealed that among the 25 species of small wild animals surveyed, shrews showed the highest level of seropositivity with a detection rate of 27%. on the other hand, the serosurvey of domestic animals identified lower levels of seropositivity in goats and dogs with detection rates of 2% and 5%, respectively. These findings suggest that langya henipavirus (layv) can affect several species, including humans, dogs, goats, and its probable natural host, shrews.
How is langya henipavirus (layv) transmitted?
Although person-to-person transmission has been reported for nipah virus, which is a close relative of langya henipavirus (layv), the study found no significant evidence to suggest that the virus is transmitted between people. in fact, the study has not identified a significant spatial or temporal aggregation of human cases. furthermore, there were no signs of close contact or history of common exposure among the 35 people with confirmed infections. contact tracing of 9 patients with 15 close family members has found no evidence of person-to-person transmission through close contact. Taken together, these findings suggest that langya henipavirus (layv) infections detected in the human population may be sporadic. the researchers also noted that human-to-human transmission is rare among henipaviruses. So far, the only known member of the henipavirus genus that shows signs of person-to-person transmission is Nipah virus, which requires very close contact. Although the researchers have acknowledged that their sample size was insufficient to completely rule out the potential for human-to-human transmission for langya henipavirus (layv), these findings suggest that the virus is unlikely to cause a pandemic.
what are the signs and symptoms of langya henipavirus (layv)?
consecutive investigations by zhang et al. (2022) found that among 35 patients with confirmed acute langya henipavirus (layv) infections, 26 people were uninfected with no other pathogens. Common signs and symptoms observed in the 26 patients exclusively infected with langya henipavirus (layv) include fever (100% of patients), fatigue (54%), cough (50%), anorexia (50%), myalgia (46 % ), nausea (38%), headache (35%), and vomiting (35%). These symptoms may be accompanied by abnormalities of thrombocytopenia (35%), leukopenia (54%), impaired liver function (35%), and impaired renal function (8%).
As of August 2022, no deaths related to langya henipavirus (layv) infection have been reported. Fortunately, Langya henipavirus (LAYV) appears to be less fatal and pathogenic compared to its siblings that are known to infect and cause disease in humans. In fact, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), the Nipah virus has a mortality rate of 75%. On the other hand, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the Hendra virus has a mortality rate of 57%. While more research is needed to determine the pathogenicity and fatality of langya henipavirus (layv), current data suggest that layv infections may be relatively less severe and fatal.
what are the testing, vaccination and treatment options for langya henipavirus (layv)?
Read more: How to celebrate Hanukkah – Unpacked
Similar to other henipaviruses such as the Nipah virus and the Hendra virus, there are currently no approved treatments or vaccines against Langya henipavirus (LayV) available for use in humans. However, according to Broder et al. (2013), a human monoclonal antibody targeting the viral G glycoprotein has been identified as an efficient treatment against infections with Hendra and Nipah viruses. Moreover, a sub-unit vaccine based on the G glycoprotein of Hendra virus developed for use in horses has been demonstrated to be effective against Hendra and Nipah viruses. Alongside these developments, antiviral agents such as ribavirin has been demonstrated to be effective in the treatment of Hendra and Nipah viruses. In the future, these advances may offer options for treatment and vaccination against infections with the Langya henipavirus (LayV).
With regard to testing options, there are currently no approved test kits for the detection of langya henipavirus (layv). However, CDC Deputy Director General Chuang Jen-hsiang of the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control recently reported that Taiwanese researchers have developed a polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based test method. for diagnosis and surveillance of langya henipavirus (layv). on the other hand, there are currently no projects under development for alternative testing options, such as rapid antigen tests or antibody tests.
zhang xa, li h, jiang fc, zhu f, zhang yf, chen jj, tan cw, anderson de, fan h, dong ly, li c, zhang ph, li y, ding h, fang lq, wang lf , liu w. a zoonotic henipavirus in febrile patients in china. the new england journal of medicine. August 4, 2022; 387 (5): 470-472. doi: 10.1056/nejmc2202705. pmid: 35921459. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35921459/
broder cc, xuk k, nikolov db, zhu z, dimitrov ds, middleton d, pallister j, geisbert tw, bossart kn, wang lf. a treatment and a vaccine against the deadly hendra and nipah viruses. antiviral research. 2013 Oct;100(1):8-13. doi: 10.1016/j.antiviral.2013.06.012. medium: 23838047; pmcid: pmc4418552. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23838047/