Foodborne transmission of Nipah virus, Bangladesh

Stephen P. Luby, Mahmudur Rahman, M. Jahangir Hossain, Lauren S. Blum, M. Mushtaq Husain, Emily Gurley, Rasheda Khan, Be Nazir Ahmed, Shafiqur Rahman, Nazmun Nahar, Eben Kenah, James A. Comer, Thomas G. Ksiazek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

350 Scopus citations


We investigated an outbreak of encephalitis in Tangail District, Bangladesh. We defined case-patients as persons from the outbreak area in whom fever developed with new onset of seizures or altered mental status from December 15, 2004, through January 31, 2005. Twelve persons met the definition; 11 (92%) died. Serum specimens were available from 3; 2 had immunoglobulin M antibodies against Nipah virus by capture enzyme immunoassay. We enrolled 11 case-patients and 33 neighborhood controls in a case-control study. The only exposure significantly associated with illness was drinking raw date palm sap (64% among case-patients vs. 18% among controls, odds ratio [OR] 7.9, p = 0.01). Fruit bats (Pteropus giganteus) are a nuisance to date palm sap collectors because the bats drink from the clay pots used to collect the sap at night. This investigation suggests that Nipah virus was transmitted from P. giganteus to persons through drinking fresh date palm sap.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1888-1894
Number of pages7
JournalEmerging infectious diseases
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'Foodborne transmission of Nipah virus, Bangladesh'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this