"There are no other known or effective therapeutic options for Hendra virus infection," according to Dr. Broder. "Indeed, because of the recent emergency compassionate use of the antibody in two individuals last year in Queensland, Australia, who were exposed to Hendra virus from an ill horse, we transferred the materials needed for producing it to Queensland Health officials, at their request. This allows larger amounts of m102.4 to be prepared locally using proper manufacturing guidelines and will make the antibody available for compassionate use in Australia should it be needed in any future outbreak."
Hendra virus and Nipah virus, members of the paramyxovirus family, are highly infectious agents that emerged from flying foxes in the 1990s to cause serious disease outbreaks in humans and livestock in Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, Bangladesh and India. Recent Nipah outbreaks have resulted in acute respiratory distress syndrome and encephalitis, person-to-person transmission, and greater than 75 percent case fatality rates among humans. Additionally, these properties make these viruses a concern to both human and livestock health.
The present findings indicate that m102.4 could potentially be used as a post-exposure drug, diagnostic probe or research reagent. Hendra virus has re-emerged every year in eastern Australia since 2004. In 2009, Hendra virus caused the death of several horses and one person in Australia. In 2010, a single appearance of Hendra virus infection of a horse resulted in a significant risk of exposure to two people. Because no other therapeutic measures against Hendra virus infection exist, a decision to administer the m102.4 monoclonal antibody was made by Australian health officials. Both these individuals remain healthy today.
The 2011 Hendra virus
|Contact: JoAnn Sperber|
Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine