1887

Abstract

Highly pathogenic Nipah virus (NiV) causes symptomatic infections in pigs and humans. The severity of respiratory symptoms is much more pronounced in pigs than in humans, suggesting species-specific differences of NiV replication in porcine and human airways. Here, we present a comparative study on productive NiV replication in primary airway epithelial cell cultures of the two species. We reveal that NiV growth substantially differs in primary cells between pigs and humans, with a more rapid spread of infection in human airway epithelia. Increased replication, correlated with higher endogenous expression levels of the main NiV entry receptor ephrin-B2, not only significantly differed between airway cells of the two species but also varied between cells from different human donors. To our knowledge, our study provides the first experimental evidence of species-specific and individual differences in NiV receptor expression and replication kinetics in primary airway epithelial cells. It remains to be determined whether and how these differences contribute to the viral host range and pathogenicity.

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2016-07-01
2019-09-23
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