Introduction: Nipah virus--discovery and origin.Curr Top Microbiol Immunol. 2012; 359:1-9.CT
Until the Nipah outbreak in Malaysia in 1999, knowledge of human infections with the henipaviruses was limited to the small number of cases associated with the emergence of Hendra virus in Australia in 1994. The Nipah outbreak in Malaysia alerted the global public health community to the severe pathogenic potential and widespread distribution of these unique paramyxoviruses. This chapter briefly describes the initial discovery of Nipah virus and the challenges encountered during the initial identification and characterisation of the aetiological agent responsible for the outbreak of febrile encephalitis. The initial attempts to isolate Nipah virus from the bat reservoir host are also described.