Langya: New zoonotic virus in China

Another zoonotic virus, Langya, was recently discovered in China, after deadly coronavirus was detected in 2019. It is a type of Henipavirus, and is also called as Langya Henipavirus or LayV. It was detected in Shandong and Henan provinces in China and has infected 35 people so far.

About Henipavirus

Langya Virus is a phylogenetically distinct Henipavirus. Henipaviruses are categorised as biosafety level 4 (BSL4) pathogens. It is responsible for serious illness in animals and humans. Prior to Langya virus, other viruses in Henipavirus category include- Hendra, Cedar, Nipah, Mojiang and Ghanaian bat virus.

About Langya Virus:

Langya virus causes fever. However, deeper investigation of other associated illness in underway. Genome sequencing of Langya is similar to that of Henipaviruses. It is also related to “Mojiang Henipavirus, which was discovered in China.

  • Langya virus was first identified while testing patients with fever and recent exposure to animal in eastern China.
  • Virus was identified and isolated from throat swab sample the patients.
  • Out of 35 patients, 26 were infected with new Langya virus and no other pathogen.
  • All the 26 patients had fever. They also reported fatigue, cough, nausea, headache and vomiting.
  • Some of the patients also diagnosed for impaired liver function and damaged kidney function.

The new virus has transmitted from animal to humans. The virus is predominantly found in shrews. Seropositivity was also detected among domestic animals like goats and dogs. Human to human transmission is not yet confirmed because, 35 patients had no close contact. Also, their exposure history is different.

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