Watching Briefs

The Emergence of Novel Langya Henipavirus in China



In August 2022, a research study in China reported the emergence of Langya henipavirus (LayV), a novel zoonotic henipavirus. LayV had infected 35 people in Shandong and Henan provinces between 2018 – 2021, with shrews suspected to be the natural reservoir host. There has been great public interest in LayV as an emerging zoonosis, given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, as well as its relatedness to Hendra virus and Nipah virus, other zoonotic henipaviruses capable of severe human and animal health impacts. Though cases appeared sporadic and mostly mild with lack of evident connection, further investigations are needed to understand the potential public health impacts of LayV. Given LayV’s ability to infect humans, and currently limited available information, the gathering of additional data regarding ecological, geographical, temporal and anthropogenic factors could help researchers better understand its emergence and transmission. Many questions have arisen regarding LayV, such as the role that shrews may play in transmission, the possibility of human-to-human transmission, the environmental factors that may have influenced the emergence of LayV, potential disease severity especially in critically ill patients, and whether additional cases have occurred outside the study. Such considerations warrant ongoing and expanded surveillance efforts within and beyond China to further understand the transmission and pathogenesis mechanisms of LayV infection.


Langya henipavirusLayVemerging infectious diseasezoonotic diseasedisease surveillance
  • Year: 2022
  • Volume: 4
  • DOI: 10.31646/gbio.176
  • Submitted on 7 Sep 2022
  • Published on 9 Nov 2022
  • Peer Reviewed