Nipah virus transmission from bats to humans associated with drinking traditional liquor made from date palm sap, Bangladesh, 2011-2014

M. Saiful Islam, Hossain M.S. Sazzad, Syed Moinuddin Satter, Sharmin Sultana, M. Jahangir Hossain, Murshid Hasan, Mahmudur Rahman, Shelley Campbell, Deborah L. Cannon, Ute Ströher, Peter Daszak, Stephen P. Luby, Emily S. Gurley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Nipah virus (NiV) is a paramyxovirus, and Pteropus spp. bats are the natural reservoir. From December 2010 through March 2014, hospital-based encephalitis surveillance in Bangladesh identified 18 clusters of NiV infection. The source of infection for case-patients in 3 clusters in 2 districts was unknown. A team of epidemiologists and anthropologists investigated these 3 clusters comprising 14 case-patients, 8 of whom died. Among the 14 case-patients, 8 drank fermented date palm sap (tari) regularly before their illness, and 6 provided care to a person infected with NiV. The process of preparing date palm trees for tari production was similar to the process of collecting date palm sap for fresh consumption. Bat excreta was reportedly found inside pots used to make tari. These findings suggest that drinking tari is a potential pathway of NiV transmission. Interventions that prevent bat access to date palm sap might prevent tariassociated NiV infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)664-670
Number of pages7
JournalEmerging infectious diseases
Volume22
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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