Search for the Ebola virus reservoir in Kikwit, Democratic Republic of the Congo: reflections on a vertebrate collection.
ABSTRACT A 3-month ecologic investigation was done to identify the reservoir of Ebola virus following the 1995 outbreak in Kikwit, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Efforts focused on the fields where the putative primary case had worked but included other habitats near Kikwit. Samples were collected from 3066 vertebrates and tested for the presence of antibodies to Ebola (subtype Zaire) virus: All tests were negative, and attempts to isolate Ebola virus were unsuccessful. The investigation was hampered by a lack of information beyond the daily activities of the primary case, a lack of information on Ebola virus ecology, which precluded the detailed study of select groups of animals, and sample-size limitations for rare species. The epidemiology of Ebola hemorrhagic fever suggests that humans have only intermittent contact with the virus, which complicates selection of target species. Further study of the epidemiology of human outbreaks to further define the environmental contact of primary cases would be of great value.
Dataset: Ebola and Marburg haemorrhagic fever viruses: major scientific advances, but a relatively minor public health threat for Africa[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Ebola and Marburg viruses are the only members of the Filoviridae family (order Mononegavirales), a group of viruses characterized by a linear, non-segmented, single-strand negative RNA genome. They are among the most virulent pathogens for humans and great apes, causing acute haemorrhagic fever and death within a matter of days. Since their discovery 50 years ago, filoviruses have caused only a few outbreaks, with 2317 clinical cases and 1671 confirmed deaths, which is negligible compared with the devastation caused by malnutrition and other infectious diseases prevalent in Africa (malaria, cholera, AIDS, dengue, tuberculosis …). Yet considerable human and financial resourses have been devoted to research on these viruses during the past two decades, partly because of their potential use as bioweapons. As a result, our understanding of the ecology, host interactions, and control of these viruses has improved consid-erably.
Article: Filovirus research in Gabon and equatorial Africa: the experience of a research center in the heart of Africa.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Health research programs targeting the population of Gabon and Equatorial Africa at the International Center for Medical Research in Franceville (CIRMF), Gabon, have evolved during the years since its inception in 1979 in accordance with emerging diseases. Since the reemergence of Ebola virus in Central Africa, the CIRMF "Emerging Viral Disease Unit" developed diagnostic tools and epidemiologic strategies and transfers of such technology to support the response of the National Public Health System and the World Health Organization to epidemics of Ebola virus disease. The Unit carries out a unique investigation program on the natural history of the filoviruses, emergence of epidemics, and Ebola virus pathogenesis. In addition, academic training is provided at all levels to regional and international students covering emerging conditions (host factors, molecular biology, genetics) that favor the spread of viral diseases.Viruses 09/2012; 4(9):1592-604. · 1.50 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In 1967, the first reported filovirus hemorrhagic fever outbreak took place in Germany and the former Yugoslavia. The causative agent that was identified during this outbreak, Marburg virus, is one of the most deadly human pathogens. This article provides a comprehensive overview of our current knowledge about Marburg virus disease ranging from ecology to pathogenesis and molecular biology.Viruses 01/2012; 4(10):1878-927. · 1.50 Impact Factor