Elucidation of Nipah virus morphogenesis and replication using ultrastructural and molecular approaches

Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Toni Whistler, Pierre E. Rollin, Thomas G. Ksiazek, Paul A. Rota, William J. Bellini, Peter Daszak, K. T. Wong, Wun Ju Shieh, Sherif R. Zaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


Nipah virus, which was first recognized during an outbreak of encephalitis with high mortality in Peninsular Malaysia during 1998-1999, is most closely related to Hendra virus, another emergent paramyxovirus first recognized in Australia in 1994. We have studied the morphologic features of Nipah virus in infected Vero E6 cells and human brain by using standard and immunogold electron microscopy and ultrastructural in situ hybridization. Nipah virions are enveloped particles composed of a tangle of filamentous nucleocapsids and measured as large as 1900 nm in diameter. The nucleocapsids measured up to 1.67 μm in length and had the herringbone structure characteristic for paramyxoviruses. Cellular infection was associated with multinucleation, intracytoplasmic nucleocapsid inclusions (NCIs), and long cytoplasmic tubules. Previously undescribed for other members of the family Paramyxoviridae, infected cells also contained an inclusion formed of reticular structures. Ultrastructural ISH studies suggest these inclusions play an important role in the transcription process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-98
Number of pages10
JournalVirus Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Electron microscopy
  • Encephalitis
  • Henipavirus
  • Immunogold labeling
  • In situ hybridization
  • Nipah virus
  • Paramyxoviridae
  • Replication complex
  • Ultrastructure
  • Zoonotic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Cancer Research


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