Background: Nipah virus (NiV) and Hendra virus (HeV) of genus Henipavirus are the deadliest zoonotic virus, which cause severe respiratory ailment and fatal encephalitis in human and other susceptible animals. The fatality rate in these infections had been alarmingly high with no approved treatment available till date. Viral attachment and fusion with host cell membrane is essential for viral entry and is the most essential event of viral infection. Viral attachment is mediated by interaction of Henipavirus attachment glycoprotein (G) with host cell receptor: Ephrin B2/B3, while viral fusion and endocytosis is mediated by combined action of both viral glycoprotein (G) and fusion protein (F).
Conclusion and Future Prospects: This review highlights the mechanism of viral attachment, fusion and also explained basic mechanism and pathobiology of infection in humans. The drugs and therapeutics used either experimentally or clinically against NiV and HeV infection are documented and classified in detail. Some amino acid residues essential for functionality of G and F proteins are also emphasized. Therapeutic designing to target and block these residues can serve as a promising approach in future drug development against NiV and HeV.
Keywords: Nipah virus, hendra virus, viral pathogenesis, host cell entry, animal models, current therapeutics, proposed drug targets
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